Employability in the Data Economy

Training a new generation

CASCADE will train a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial early-stage researchers to develop and apply innovative methodologies for longitudinal semantic analysis of text corpora (diachronic text analytics). It specifically seeks to address the shortage of ‘hard’ skills in the European data economy, resulting from the lack of relevant courses (e.g. in programming or data science) in traditional humanities curricula in higher education.

The data economy cuts across all business and public sectors, including: education; the creative industries; science, engineering, and manufacturing industries; and government.

CASCADE’s unique selling point for potential researchers is its emphasis on computational linguistics and humanities scholarship as skills that bring value and competitive edge to organisations concerned with semantically-aware information retrieval. These organisations might be academic or commercial, involved in early stage R&D (methods development) or early adoption of new methods (methods application).

The European data economy is cross-sectoral, international, interdisciplinary and not bound by older traditions of labour (e.g. not restricted by gender, age or socio-economic demographics). As such, we must produce researchers who understand the transferable value of their knowledge and skills beyond academia and have the opportunity to participate in this wider economy.

Non-academic partners

The aim of including non-academic partners in the network is to provide opportunities for researchers to understand the employability value of their knowledge and skills to the European data economy.

The specific intention is to show researchers how industry thinks, plans, operationalises and communicates ideas in the domain of semantic analysis, and to enable them to understand the commercial considerations around new language-based technologies and services.

In short, CASCADE aims to create doctoral training of tangible value to industry, in terms of supplying industry with researchers who: a) meet their skills requirements for research and innovation (to address the ‘hard skills’ deficit); and b) are comfortable in a non-academic environment that has its own cultures and motivations.


James Hallam Ltd / CCRS Brokers (CCRS) is a UK-based company that works directly with global providers in the financial services industry, such as AXA and Kennedys Law, working on InsurTech R&D projects that sit alongside its more conventional B2B services.

CASCADE secondments will help CCRS to address a specific set of data challenges that currently inhibit modernisation, standardisation, and growth within the sector: understanding how domain concepts (descriptions of assets, risks etc) and their meanings change across the sector and over time , as well as how to identify, extract and classify them.

Information Technology

Lexical Computing CZ s.r.o. is a research company working at the intersection of corpus and computational linguistics, and is committed to an empiricist approach to the study of language, in which corpora play a central role for a very wide range of linguistic questions. It has a leading corpus query tool, Sketch Engine, incorporating ‘word sketches’, one page corpus-driven summaries of a word’s grammatical and collocational behaviour.

Lexical Computing is just one example of business in the information technology sector for which semantic analysis has an R&D value.

Societal Impact

VICESSE (Vienna Centre for Societal Security), will exemplify the types of societal impact arising from the application of CASCADE’s methodologies. VICESSE locates, analyses and proposes solutions to security problems at a local, national and European level. It conceives security as a societal concept, and seeks to ensure that security solutions are considered and addressed with the everyday world of its citizens in mind, and that they have a voice in this.

Understanding the discourse of security, and particularly the subtle changes in meaning over time – which might be intentional, unintended or organic – is an important part of VICESSE’s work to understand how security policy is evolving, affecting everyday life, and being communicated to citizens.