Data Science technology is rapidly changing the role of information and communication technologies in society and business. Data Science is an interdisciplinary field whose goal is to transform data into (real) value. Data can be structured or unstructured, large or small, static or streaming. Value can be provided in any form of data visualization that provides insight. Data Science includes data extraction, data preparation, data exploration, data transformation, storage and retrieval, data processing infrastructures, various types of mining and learning, the presentation and explanation of predictions, and the exploitation of results, taking into account ethical, social, legal, and business issues. In this context, Artificial Intelligence (AI for short) and Machine Learning cover only a part of the discipline.
Away from the Artificial Intelligence parts, the Data Science research focus particularly develops data pre-processing, data exploration, database technologies, information retrieval, distributed/streaming computing infrastructures, unsupervised learning, traditional supervised learning, storytelling, business models, IT law, and Responsible Data Science with topics such as fairness, accuracy and transperency. Data Science is rooted in many different application areas and consists of the three main components: Infrastructure, Analysis, and Impact.
Data Science has thus become a key driver of the digital transformation that is changing people's lives and the infrastructure of companies. The competition for data science talent, example given funding by the German government "Artificial Inelligence made in Germany", highlights the growing importance of data science in both academia and industry. Not only the leading tech giants consider Data Science as a key technology, but also for example Siemens, Allianz, Deutsche Bahn and Zalando invest in this technology.
RWTH has unique data science resources at its disposal. These are strengthened by two Alexander von Humboldt Professorships, the Cluster of Excellence "Internet of Production", several ERC grants and various DFG and EU projects. The goal of the new AI Center at RWTH is to bundle and advance research in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science.