RENCI-Supported Short-Term Data Matters Series Return August 2021


August 3, 2021 – Now in its eighth year, Data Matters 2021, a week-long series of one- or two-day courses for students and professionals in business, research and government, will take place from 9-13. August virtually via Zoom. The short course series is sponsored by the Odum Institute for Social Science Research at UNC-Chapel Hill, the National Consortium for Data Science and RENCI.

Although the need for data literacy has grown exponentially for employers in recent years, many academic institutions are struggling to keep pace. According to a 2021 Forrester report, 81% of recruiters rated data skills and data literacy as important abilities for applicants, while only 48% of college planners said their institution has currently implemented places specific data skills initiatives. Data Matters helps bridge this gap by providing attendees with the opportunity to learn about a wide range of topics in data science, analytics, visualization, curation and more from expert instructors.

“As our society becomes more data driven, we have seen an increased need for workers in environments such as industry, healthcare and law to have a basic understanding of techniques and applications. data science, ”said Shannon McKeen, executive director of the National Data Science Consortium. “The Data Matters short course series enables us to meet the high demand for data science education and provide pathways for recent graduates and current professionals to bridge the data literacy gap and enrich their skills. knowledge.”

Data Matters instructors are experts in their fields from NC State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University, Cisco, Blue Cross NC and RENCI. Topics covered this year include information visualization, data curation, data mining and machine learning, R programming, system dynamics and agent-based modeling, and more. Among the courses available are:

  • Introduction to R programming, Jonathan Duggins. Statistical programming is an integral part of many data-intensive and data literacy careers, and programming skills have become a necessary component of employment in many industries. This course begins with the concepts needed for new programmers, both general and statistical, and explores some programming topics needed for any job using data.
  • Text analysis using R, Alison blaine. This course explains how to cleanse and analyze text data using R, including raw and structured texts. It will cover several practical approaches to obtaining data in R and applying analytical methods to it, with an emphasis on techniques from the fields of text mining and natural language processing.
  • Use of linked data, Jim balhoff. Linked data technologies provide the means to create flexible and dynamic knowledge graphs using open standards. This course offers an introduction to linked data and the semantic web tools that underpin their use.
  • R for workflow automation and work sharing, Justin post. The course provides participants with an introduction to using R to write reproducible reports and presentations that easily integrate R output, using online repositories and version control software for collaboration, building Basic websites using R and developing interactive dashboards and web applets.

Data Matters offers discounted rates for faculty, students, and staff at academic institutions, and for professionals in nonprofit organizations. Visit the Data Matters website to register and see detailed course descriptions, course schedules, instructor bios and logistics information.

Registration is now open on

The registration deadline is August 5 for Monday / Tuesday classes, August 7 for Wednesday classes and August 8 for Thursday / Friday classes.

About the National Data Science Consortium (NCDS)

The National Consortium for Data Science (NCDS) is a collaboration of leaders from academia, industry and government formed to address the challenges and opportunities of 21st century data. NCDS helps its members leverage data to create new jobs and transformative discoveries. The organization connects diverse communities of data science experts to support a 21st century data-driven economy by creating career paths in data science and building a data-savvy workforce, bridging the gap between data scientists in the public and private sectors; and supporting open and democratized data. The NCDS is administered by founding member RENCI. Learn more at

Source: RENCI


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