New membership structure launches NCDS into new year

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Scene from an NCDS data science career event designed to bring students together with potential employers.

The National Consortium for Data Science (NCDS), a public-private consortium formed in North Carolina to address the challenges and opportunities of big data, has updated its membership structure, making it easier for businesses, government agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofits to join the NCDS community.

The new NCDS offers memberships to fit the budgets of large and small businesses, nonprofits of various sizes, academic institutions, and government agencies. The consortium also offers a new International Affiliates membership.

Now in its fifth year, the NCDS focuses on supporting a data-driven economy by building career pathways for professionals and data science students, creating a data-literate workforce, bridging the gap between public and private sector data scientists, and supporting open and democratized data.

NCDS members have the opportunity to meet and recruit data science students at NCDS career fairs and networking events, and participate in the annual Data Matters™ short course series for a reduced price. Members strategize on ways to address today’s most important data challenges, and work across disciplines and industry sectors to create data science curricula for undergraduates, graduate students, and working professionals. Members can also access resources, including data collections and data management software.

“Because we span the private and public sectors, we play a unique role among the groups strategizing on how to make the most of big data,” said NCDS Director Shannon McKeen. “We believe our new membership structure will increase the diversity of members, provide new energy to our existing programs, and jumpstart new initiatives.”

For more information on membership rates and how to join the NCDS, please visit the membership page of the NCDS website.

Among the accomplishments of the NCDS since its launch in April 2013 are:

  • Establishing the Data Matters™ Short Course series, a week of one-and two-day courses on data science topics aimed at students and working professionals. Data Matters 2018 will be held August 13 – 17 at North Carolina State University. More information is available at the Data Matters website.
  • Convening networking events that bring together students from diverse disciplines with companies looking for data science talent. The next career event will be held Feb. 13 at The Frontier in Research Triangle Park. Companies can still register at https://ncdscareers.eventbrite.com.
  • Working with the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology and Innovation to produce the report NC in the Next Tech Tsunami: Navigating the Data Economy. The report’s recommendations led North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to begin forming the North Carolina Opportunities in the Data Economy Working Group, which will initiate its work in the coming months.
  • Supporting a wide range of data-focused conferences and events, including Analytics Forward, PyData Carolinas, and Pearl Hacks.
  • Providing scholarships to students to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference.
  • Leading discussions on important data science topics by hosting the monthly DataBytes Webinar Series.
  • Advancing data science research at member institutions through the recently concluded Data Fellows Program.

For more on the NCDS, please visit www.datascienceconsortium.org.

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