Creating a national network of like-minded groups to enhance research, learning, outcomes and opportunities in data science
Data science is now a recognised profession that includes a wide range of disciplines and activities focused on extracting insights from data. It is one of the most fast-growing areas of research and one of the strongest enablers for government, business and society.
Australia has an impressive and expanding footprint in data science research and training. We have active academic research centres, government and corporate concentrations of expertise, and accredited university and professional courses. However, this footprint is spread over a large continent; the field of data science is very fast-moving; demand for data science capability and capacity is still exploding; and there is increasing interest not only in individual groups but also in collective and national profiles.
Australia does not yet have a collective or national profile in data science. Some entities such as Data61, AMSI and some professional societies partially address this, but have different remits or foci. To provide a more comprehensive and inclusive solution, we are exploring the creation of an Australian Data Science Network. The aim of the ADSN would be to connect the concentrations of expertise in data science across Australia, in order to improve communication, encourage collaboration, expand opportunities, and promote our individual and collective capabilities.
The ADSN would be administered by the Centre for Data Science that has been established at QUT, and would be governed by a representative from each member entity. The ambition is clearly and deliberately to enhance and expand opportunities and outcomes for all members of the Network.
Through the ADSN, we can:
- Enhance communication and collaboration between data science groups across the country
- Build and promote a national profile in data science
- Cross-promote our individual capabilities and activities
- Share information about jobs, opportunities, visitors, etc
- Learn from each other
- Provide a trusted ‘one-stop shop’ for national and international research, engagement and advice on data science
- Attract data science researchers and students to Australia
- Attract international corporates who want to deal with consortia of expertise rather than individual entities.
Some ways that these benefits could be delivered are:
- Creating an ADSN web presence to promote individual and collective expertise, with direct links to member sites
- Creating forums for online communication between members
- Promoting members’ activities, outputs and opportunities to external groups via social media and a joint email list
- Encouraging and promoting workshops, conferences, working groups, etc
- Sharing opportunities that are brought to the ADSN among relevant members.