DCADS was established to focus on “the intersection of data science and business” in light of the rapid innovation in data and technology taking place in the business world.

However, the white space that exists at this intersection is unmanageably large and offers little guidance to DCADS in how and where to deploy the limited resources available to us during the Pilot Phase. As a result, and guided by the mission described above, we defined six areas of focus within this white space that align with priorities previously identified by Darden, the School of Data Science, and the University. We call them “themes,” and they are as follows:

  • Bias and Misinformation. Exploring algorithms and data-intensive business practices that increase equity and promote truthfulness in business and in society.
  • Analytical Leadership. Managing and leading analytical individuals, high-performing teams, and distinctive organizations in the face of an explosion of data and the near ubiquity of technologies that enable leaders to use or misuse it.
  • Healthy Choices. Understanding and influencing consumer and health care professional decision-making behavior through interventions, experiments, and analysis using data and technology, with the objective of improving health and better managing care.
  • Low/No-code. Expanding the accessibility of data science tools and methods beyond the most sophisticated practitioners to enable application of data science to difficult challenges in business by a broader range of individuals, teams, and organizations.
  • Entrepreneurship. Developing the data science skills of entrepreneurs and advancing the translation of innovations in data science into commercial businesses, in Charlottesville and across the region.
  • Social Impact. Enhancing the availability of data and data science to leaders in organizations, such as local and regional governments and nonprofits, that are focused on issues and opportunities to positively impact communities and society.