The UVA Darden-Data Science Collaboratory for Applied Data Science (DCADS) is jointly organized by the Darden School of Business and School of Data Science with support from the UVA Office of the Provost. It was established in 2022 to advance the efforts of the two UVA schools at the intersection of data science and business, including in research, teaching and learning, and community and corporate engagement. 

Its mission is to advance the research, teaching, and practice of management through the application of data science to the most significant opportunities and challenges in business, in Virginia and globally. DCADS will do this through a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach; an unshakable grounding in business ethics; and a differentiating emphasis on analytical leadership.

Our vision, shared by the leadership of the two schools and UVA, is that DCADS will be the most prominent vehicle within Darden and the School of Data Science, and the preeminent voice in Virginia and the nation, on topics related to the application of data science in management. Further, our aim is to be recognized as a global leader in interdisciplinary approaches to data science in management, ethical applications of data science, the contribution of open and collaborative work to the community, and the development of analytical leaders. 

As part of the DCADS mission, a key emphasis is on collaboration across disciplines, including to advance academic research and knowledge creation on timely and important topics where such collaboration may accelerate progress or lead to novel approaches and solutions.

Early in 2022, our team endeavored to address two topics as it kicked off: 1) to document how the Collaboratory would coexist and complement existing resources and activities at the two schools; and 2) to define more specifically the areas in which we intended to focus during the two-year pilot phase. 

Given the many new people and programs, and rapid evolution of plans, at the nascent School of Data Science, and the myriad established and successful initiatives and organizations at Darden, a mature and renowned school, we felt it was important to our success to be explicit about where we hoped and planned to fit in the larger ecosystem. To address this, we documented three guiding principles to ensure that our focus and contributions are uniquely valuable. To that end, DCADS aspires to be:  

  • Intentional. Not only capitalizing on issues and opportunities identified by others but proactively raising topics that matter in the fields of data science and business and which may not yet be a focus at the two schools or the University.
  • Additive. Not duplicating existing roles and established programs available from either the two schools or elsewhere at UVA but complementing them in ways that build upon those capabilities to advance the Collaboratory and align with the priorities of the two schools and the University.
  • Collaborative. Not solely advancing the interests of individual faculty or programs at either school but pursuing activities and goals that uniquely benefit from a multi-disciplinary approach that heavily weights the aggregation of business and data science expertise.