A new centre will use cutting edge research to help partner organisations turn data into knowledge.
The new RMIT Centre for Information Discovery and Data Analytics (CIDDA) brings together a team of leading researchers in human-driven data science, focusing on both the technical challenges posed by the volume and complexity of data, as well as the human and organisational challenge of interacting and making sense of such data.
CIDDA Director Associate Professor J. Shane Culpepper said manipulating and finding useful information in massive volumes of complex data increasingly presents challenges for individuals and organisations.
"Governments, businesses and not-for-profits all gather electronic data daily, some on a small scale but many of them in large volumes, and this is only set to increase, “ Culpepper says.
“But most of us don't know what to do with all of the data because data analytics is not their primary purpose. Our primary goal is to partner with these organisations and help transform data into knowledge.”
CIDDA was officially launched October 17 at RMIT, with an ambitious mission to provide industry and government partners access to cutting-edge research in the broad area of human-centred data science. The centre will work with partners to find innovative ways to translate research into impact within their organisations.
Current projects by centre staff include helping Microsoft build the next generation of voice software, improving SEEK’s online job search engine, and helping City of Melbourne to make better use of sensor data for pedestrian and traffic management.
“It’s through these partnerships that we solve fundamental research challenges and translate that research into impact,” Culpepper says. “We’re an externally focussed centre and will be looking to develop new partnerships across all our focus areas.”
The focus areas for CIDDA include:
- Combining structured data, such as databases, with unstructured data such as digital media, audio files and social media.
- Helping organisations resolve fairness, accountability, transparency and ethical problems in algorithms for machine learning, and helping them understand the grand challenges in responsible and ethical data management.
- Developing the next generation of conversational virtual assistants.
- Improving data visualisation and analysis.
- Improving the scalability of search, storage and retrieval in large data repositories.
- Implementing and benefiting from recent advances in spatial computing and intelligent transportation.
- Applying and benefiting from Internet of Things (IoT) analytics.
Culpepper is a Vice-Chancellor’s Principal Research Fellow and internationally recognised leader in the field of Information Retrieval.