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Education for Data Intensive Science to Open New science frontiers

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EDISON (Education for Data Intensive Science to Open New science frontiers)

Reporting period: 2017-03-01 to 2017-08-31

The EDISON project addressed growing demand for Data Science and general data related professions by modern data driven science and digital economy in general. Data Science and data analytics as enabling factors for almost all sectors of the modern economy requires a multi-disciplinary approach and new approaches to Data Science education, training and skills management in conditions of the continuously evolving computing technologies.

This provided the context in which the EDISON project was working to coordinate and support activities to foster advanced education for increased number of the future Data Scientists in Europe (and beyond), and in parallel establishing a foundation for the sustainable development of the new Data Science professional family by defining core Data Science competences and corresponding professional profiles and organisational roles. To realise these goals, the EDISON project targeted its activity on all stakeholders depending on and contributing to the establishment, recognition and sustainability of the new profession; this included but was not limited to the academic/research community, industry, national governmental organisations, standardisation and professional bodies.

Majority of currently available university curricula and training programs are built based on available courses and cover limited set of competences and knowledge areas that are related to multiple Data Science and general data management professional profiles, and need to be re-designed to respond to the job market demand. This potentially may create gaps in knowledge and competences of the the Data Scientist graduates for their smooth integration in the real working environment (both in industry and academia).
The project activities have created a strong foundation to address growing demand for new profession of Data Scientist and related DSA enabled competences and skills in all sectors of European economy and Digital Single Market in particular. The following specific activities were undertaken:
* Researching the main factors defining the demand and supply side of the Data Science related professions and required competences and skills; identifying gaps, challenges and opportunities;
* Defining the foundation components for building sustainable delivery of skilled DSA enabled workforce for European economy, including the European Research Infrastructures (RI) and the European Digital Single Market
* Building a community and network of early adopters and contributors, engaging with and involving the private sector into defining transferable Data Science competences and skills
* Developing a conceptual, methodological and educational framework to assist universities and research organisations in developing their Data Science and data management curricula, programmes and training courses.

EDISON main achievements are falling into the following main groups:
• EDISON Data Science Framework (EDSF) that provides the foundation of the Data Science professional family definition and all other project products and activities;
• EDISON network that includes both the Champion Universities and professional network of experts, educators, researchers and practitioners in Data Science and associated areas, which all consolidated around the Data Science Champions Conference that found support among European universities, research organisations and practitioners.
• Community Portal (https://www.datasciencepro.eu/) that is designated to coordinate the post-project activity and support the Data Science Professional community.

The main project product the EDISON Data Science Framework (EDSF) is a set of documents and guidelines which are published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) Open Source license. EDSF Release 2 published on 3 July 2017 consists of the following documents:
* CF-DS – Data Science Competence Framework
* DS-BoK – Data Science Body of Knowledge
* MC-DS – Data Science Model Curriculum
* DSPP - Data Science Professional profiles and occupations taxonomy

The EDSF specifications are defined in accordance with European and international standards and best practices (such as E-CFv3.0 ESCO, IEEE CCS2012 and domain related Bodies of Knowledge) what provides a basis for wide EDSF acceptance and sustainability. The EDSF provides a basis for other components of the Data Science professional ecosystem that include Community Portal, Education Environment and certification scheme.

The project followed a gradual development starting from the defining conceptual components of the proposed EDISON Data Science Framework (EDSF) at the initial stage of the project, its practical implementation in real life environments by cooperating universities and training organisations, and continuing with activities and deliverables that developed post-project sustainability model and roadmap recommendations to the major stakeholder in the Data Science job market to ensure sustainable production and education of skilled Data Science professionals.

In order to maximize the creation of future impacts, the EDISON team has designed and implemented different coordination mechanisms and actively participated in activities organised by third parties. The team engaged in multiple stakeholder groups from the European research community, industry and international professional organisations including research infrastructures. These activities have worked as channels to effectively deliver our result to those ultimately in charge of effectively creating the future skilled Data Science workforce.
The proposed EDISON Data Science Framework (EDSF) provides for the academic, research communities and industry an innovative instrument that goes beyond the current state of the art and helps addressing challenges in developing effective curricula for Data Science education and training and building sustainable capacity building and skills management on Data Science and other data driven professions.

The project results contributed to the main impact factors defined in the project: increase in the number of universities offering Data Science related educational and training programmes which are using innovation driven design and implementation approach to the Data Science oriented programmes, competences definition and career management. This is demonstrated by increased number of champion universities and research organisations cooperating with the project and establishing the Data Science programs as well as growing adoption and recognition of the proposed EDSF in Europe and worldwide.

The whole complex of project activities and obtained results demonstrated the project’s commitment and valuable contribution to the European added values, in particular, facilitating European research and education community networking, contributing to European excellence and capacity building in Data Science education and new careers support, coordinating involvement of critical mass from all stakeholder areas into establishing new profession of Data Scientist, fostering mutual learning, harmonization and avoiding redundancies in coordinating Trans-European activities related to education, training and skills management.
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