Engage: Research and Talent

Through the Data Science Initiative (DSI), UNC Charlotte and our corporate partners have fully actualized the critical role of big data and digital science as a determining factor of competitive success of most every business. We are proud to be one of the first organizations to develop a comprehensive program that provides a talent pipeline and serves as an expert resource for continuing education and external research. UNC Charlotte offers the researchers and infrastructure for digital science innovation.


The DSI Research Consortium

Research is fundamental to the mission of UNC Charlotte. With its colleges harnessing big data understanding, business acumen, and emerging technology, our university is poised to meet a broad spectrum of corporate research needs.

Partnerships for the Future

A $2.1 million research grant has positioned UNC Charlotte to be a national leader in fundamental and applied research in data science. As the leader in this industry-university consortium, UNC Charlotte is partnered with North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill to integrate academic research with business innovation, driven by real-world “Big Data” challenges.

UNC Charlotte is also partnering with The National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) Program, which features a high-quality collaboration with industry on research, resulting in the direct transfer of university-developed ideas and technology into the marketplace. 

Our latest bragging right is SOPHI, a data lake repository that allows for cloud-based, collaborative research to bring promising ideas to market.  On the horizon is the new interdisciplinary Innovation Lab, a physical space for the university faculty and students to collaborate with industry in applied research.

The bottom line is the bottom line. UNC Charlotte has the faculty, researchers, and infrastructure for experiments in big data that will improve outcomes while increasing profit margins. 

(Photo Credit: Alex Souder)


The System for Observation of Populous and Heterogeneous Information (SOPHI)

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. The rigorous controls placed on access to data will instill confidence in external partners that data resident in SOPHI is secure and protected. Similarly, the repository’s standardized procedures for data and process management will allow DSI practitioners to focus on research, free from the distractions of the overhead imposed by handling diverse datasets from a myriad of sources.


Research and Laboratories

We offer the talent, researchers, and infrastructure for experiments in Big Data: all in one location ("Data Lake") allowing for expandable research applications, knowledge, and insight not previously possible. The applications of data science are broad and far-reaching from a wide variety of sectors the ability to commissionUNC Charlotte to uncover the data required to turn knowledge into insights, and see what's possible for their organizations and beyond, in the new digital age

  • In the healthcare sector, a vast number of clinical records and public health data is critical to managing costs, reduce medical errors, and optimize treatment options.
  • In the retail sector, analytics can provide sophisticated insight into the timing and nature of purchasing decisions and provide insights into customer preferences and behavior.
  • In the financial services sector, large-scale data visualization can assist banks to identify money- laundering transactions and to manage better investment risks and opportunities.
  • In manufacturing, an automaker can use analytics and sensor data to monitor the repair performance of their vehicles in real-time and take steps to reduce repeat repairs.


Student Snapshot •	Almost 200 students currently enrolled in the Graduate Certificate and Master’s degree programs •	Students have on average a minimum of 3-5 years professional experience prior to matriculating •	40% of the students are part-time, currently working with companies across the Charlotte region.

Talent Recruitment

At its core, the mission of the Data Science Initiative is to develop and generate talent to meet market demand for professionals with domain expertise, a passion for data, deep analytical talents, and strong communication skills.

UNC Charlotte's graduate programs in Health Informatics (HI) and in Data Science and Business Analytics (DSBA) draw students from diverse backgrounds in health, retail, financial, supply chain and energy. The curriculum in both stresses applied research and problem solving, often with industry experts and practitioners leading the classes.  They are interdisciplinary degree programs drawing faculty talent from the Colleges of Business, Computing and Informatics, Health and Human Services and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Throughout their studies, students work in multidisciplinary teams that foster communication and leadership skills while also honing their technical and analytical expertise. The capstone for the master’s students is required industry internship/practicum.  During that practicum, students are immersed in the organizational culture and mentored by subject matter experts in the field. The intended product is a graduate with translational skills, experienced with data and analysis in multiple domains. 

Sponsor an Internship

Cynthia Ruban

The internship is an opportunity for students to apply theories, ideas, principles, and skills learned in the classroom to a capstone project of problem-solving in practice.The practicum environment provides students in the Masters of Health Informatics and Data Science and Business Analytics practice, but also an opportunity to demonstrate their ability as Data Science professionals and contributing team members. For employers, this is an opportunity to evaluate potential job candidates in the real-world work environment, before offering permanent employment.  DSI students are actively seeking summer, fall and spring placements.

Recruit and Hire DSI Graduates

The DSI works closely with industry partners to match our talent to your needs. We can work with interested employers to advertise open positions and to facilitate the recruitment sessions with our Master of Science in Data Science and Business Analytics (DSBA) and Master of Science in Health Informatics degree programs. Please let us know how we can best work together to meet your company’s needs.

More on Job Placement

Partnership for Social Good

The mission of the Partnership for Social Good (PSG) is to offer the Data Science Initiative's collective expertise and resources to community stakeholders and in order to help unlock potential solutions to complex social problems. The vision of the Partnership of Social Good is to be a catalyst for positive, long-lasting change in the society, ultimately making it more just and fair.

More on PSG


DSI Partners

Bank of America

Grant Thornton


Syntelli Solutions

Bank of America Merchant Services

Data Chambers

Hall Booth Smith

Rapid Miner


Cap Tech


Red Ventures


Carolina Healthcare System

Duke Energy


Sealed Air



Contact Information

Academic Programs

Carly Mahedy

 Carly Mahedy

Director of Student Services

Executive Education

Jennifer Ames-Stuart

 Jennifer Ames-Stuart, Ph.D.

Director of Executive Education

Academic Programs

Doug Hague, Ph.D.

Interim Executive Director