About the Data Science Initiative

Data science combines aspects of computer science, modeling, applied mathematics and statistics. In an era of “Big Data,” organizations in both the business and public spheres are experiencing a deluge of data. With the rapid growth of data sets in size, scope, and number comes almost unlimited potential.

The Data Science Initiative brings academia and industry together to turn data into knowledge, and knowledge into insight to see what’s possible in the new digital age. The initiative holds the promise of creating drugs customized for individual patients, developing models for “predictive policing,” and leading remedies for longstanding city planning challenges. Think about the unlimited possibilities to drive organizational performance. Think about the infinite potential of the “smart city.” Think DSI.

The Data Science Initiative (DSI) at UNC Charlotte is an industry-university-state partnership, led by the College of Computing and Informatics, the Belk College of Business, the College of Health and Human Services, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Executive Education, and includes collaborative partners in other academic departments.

Responding to the Challenges of “Big Data”

UNC Charlotte is in an unparalleled position to deliver on career—and insight—building expertise. The surrounding hub of top financial services, energy, retail sales and distribution, advanced manufacturing, and technology companies provides an ideal environment to utilize a suite of skills only an urban research university can accommodate—Big Data understanding and innovation, business acumen, and technical mastery. UNC Charlotte is also responding to this sector's large workforce demand through collaboration with other universities and business partners in the Research Triangle.

DSI provides an effective solution to the challenge of "Big Data" by creating education, training and research programs in data science and analytics integrated with business and industry expertise.

By 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet.

Of all analytical fields, data scientist experts comprise 33 percent of new jobs.

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According to the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), there will be four to five million jobs in the U.S. requiring data analysis skills by 2018.

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$300 billion:
annual savings in the healthcare sector

Estimates suggest that by better integrating big data, healthcare could save as much as $300 billion a year – that’s  equal to reducing costs by $1,000 a year, for every man, woman, and child.

The Five Facets of DSI

Develop a new generation of talent

Interdisciplinary academic programs to develop a new generation of data scientists, business analysts, and managers who will have both technical and business skills to transform data into smart, innovative business solutions. These programs include a Professional Science Masters (PSM) in Data Science and Business Analytics, a PSM in Health Informatics, and associated graduate certificates.

Enhance current workforce

Professional development programs for industry professionalsand executives that will provide state-of-the-art training in the strategic use of data for innovative decision making.

Solve real-world challenges

An industry-university consortium which integrates academic research with business innovation and is driven by real-world “Big Data” challenges.

Facilitate lasting social change

By analyzing historical and real-time data points and utilizing predictive modeling, data scientists can play an indispensable role in furthering the understanding of societal trajectories. The Data Science Initiative offers its collective expertise and resources to stakeholders in the community and helps to unlock potential solutions to complex social problems.

Make data usable and accessible

By enabling the timely ingestion, storage, discovery and retrieval of large volumes of both structured and unstructured data in virtually any native format, SOPHI will enable DSI partners and associated users to maximize their data productivity.


News & Events

Analytics Frontiers Conference

Date Published: December 16, 2016

UNC Charlotte's Data Science Initiative will once again host the Analytics Frontiers Conference.  Building on last year's success, the event has been expanded to three days and will be held March 29-31 2017 at the Ritz...

Data Science Meets Veteran Student Success

Date Published: December 15, 2016

Business in Charlotte is booming – and it’s just where UNC Charlotte student Ray Xie wants to be. Since 2012, home closings in Charlotte have nearly tripled. Since 2014, the number of people employed here has risen by over 50,000. June 2016 alone brought in $1.6 billion in retail sales for the...

September 27, 2017 - 4:00 PM
Location: NCCU

Informatics Research Seminar: Challenges and Initiatives in Large Scale Health Data Collection

October 4, 2017 - 4:00 PM
Location: Duke University

Informatics Research Seminar: Statin Study from NHANES