News and events

News

Data Mining graduate appointed as EasyJet’s Head of Data Science thanks to final project

Business Information Systems 11 December 2015

A Westminster alumnus who graduated from the University with a Data Mining MSc degree (now Business Intelligence and Analytics MSc) has been appointed as easyJet’s first ever Head of Data Science after his final university project helped to generate millions of pounds.

Alberto Rey-Villaverde, who graduated in 2011, has been appointed Head of Data Science to accelerate the airline’s use of artificial intelligence (AI) with the aim of improving efficiency, reducing cost and increasing revenue and customer satisfaction.

Alberto’s dissertation project entitled ‘Artificial Pricing Manager: an expert system based on data mining tools within easyJet’s Revenue Management System’ helped easyJet make significant savings which triggered the airline’s interest in setting up the permanent Data Science Unit headed by Alberto.

The novelty of Alberto’s university project resided on the use of data mining tools to model Pricing Manager behaviour and take price decisions for the airline. The coursework explained how the Pricing Managers’ knowledge has been gathered by applying so called supervise learning data mining techniques. The results have been used to create an artificial intelligence system which makes price decisions in a real market environment.

Artificial intelligence works by using computer programmes to analyse huge pools of data. Traditional computing simply records and orders such data whereas advanced computing using artificial intelligence starts to use this data to predict and provide for future events. For example, it can predict the failure of a component so that it can be replaced in a planned fashion avoiding an unexpected failure which could cause a flight delay; or it can predict the sort of demand for certain items of food and drink on each flight so that supplies match customer demand without running out or carrying an excess amount.

Alberto‎ Rey-Villaverde, Head of Data Science for easyJet, said: “To date analytics has been about diagnostic capability and looking backwards. Now advanced artificial intelligence is more focused on predictive capability so we can better understand the future and plan for it.”

The Westminster graduate joined easyJet in 2006 and has held a number of roles including his previous title of Yield Strategy and Development Manager.

Professor Thierry Chaussalet, Project Supervisor and Business Intelligence and Analytics MSc Course Leader, said: “Alberto was a very motivated part-time student and saw very early on the potential for applying the data mining and analytics techniques learnt on the course to generate revenue at easyJet. His insight and determination enabled him to complete his project with distinction four months earlier than is usual for part-time students.”

The Business Intelligence and Analytics MSc course in the Faculty of Science and Technology addresses the need to propel information gathering and data organisation, and exploit potential information and knowledge hidden in routinely collected data to improve decision making. The course, which builds on the strengths of two successful courses on data mining and on decision sciences, is more technology focused, and stretches the data-mining and decision-sciences theme to the broader agenda of business intelligence.


About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 175-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.


For the media


For the media

Here we hope you find everything you will need to research, write and publish your story or blog post.

Press office

Please contact our press agency for any media enquiries regarding University of Westminster on

T: +44 (0)20 3697 4200
E: universityofwestminster@fourbroadgate.com