I attended the “Research Challenges in Data Science” event hosted by the Data Lab and run by SICSA.
This was a very interesting event which allowed academics and others interested in Data Science to come together and collectively try to identify the big research challenges in the field.
We used Well Sorted for collecting some ‘topics’ before the event. Then, all the participants had to rank the topics with regards to how similar they were to other topics. The Well Sorted website grouped the topics into groups using these rankings. During the event we had two sets of meetings: the first one about analysing the topics in a group in more depth and identifying three top research challenges, and the second one about brainstorming about the impact of the previously identified challenges. We had very short presentations after each meeting from all groups which allowed all the participants to be aware of what was discussed in the other groups. Finally, a technical report was published to capture all of this.
I thought this was a helpful exercise to all the participants and I am looking forward to seeing the effect (if any) of the technical report. Maybe it can give funders like the EPSRC an idea about what the researchers view as impactful research challenges in the data science field.