Taking a transdisciplinary approach, the MDSI utilises a range of perspectives from diverse fields and integrates them with industry experiences, real-world projects and self-directed study, equipping graduates with an understanding of the potential of analytics to transform practice.
MDSI is a unique course that aims to produce graduates who can straddle different spheres of ‘Big data’. Manipulating and interpreting data requires not only good technical ability, but also a strong creative element and a clear understanding of the business goals.
Course Director, Dr Theresa Anderson says, “Increasingly, companies need someone who can make sense across the spectrum of where data is flowing and then help translate that data into information that can feed innovation.
“But innovation requires a very different mindset, in addition to the technical capacity of analysing data. Our students develop that intersection of both their creative and their analytical mindset.”
Our students develop a human-centred perspective on big data: a critical mind that thinks ethically and systemically about the uses of data and analytics. The program also encourages students to develop skills suited to their particular professional and aspirational goals.
Our transdisciplinary approach tackles the challenges of working intensively and innovatively with data by helping our students to develop the three key ‘CI’ qualities:
Critical, connected thinking. Data informs innovation only when people make the right connections: analytical, ethical and creative. Students learn how to connect data to business challenges, and how to move from data, via visualisation, to evidence-based arguments that influence decision makers. MDSI graduates are thus developing the skills to design and lead a data science team, and translate insights from that work to colleagues elsewhere in the organisation.
Algorithmic intelligence is not sufficient. Creative Intelligence is a UTS graduate quality that our consultations with employers have endorsed resoundingly. We are in active dialogue with the teams who lead the creative intelligence programs at UTS: our sister lab the Innovation & Creative Intelligence Lab, and our sister course the Bachelor of Creative Intelligence & Innovation. MDSI students benefit from the ideas and techniques developed in these programs, and as CIC grows, we hope they will gain from how we connect data science to innovation.
Analytics is a team sport. Increasingly data science involves working as a highly functioning member of a team to harness all the talents available. By working in a range of settings, independently and in teams, connecting their learning to their day jobs in diverse sectors, coming together periodically for immersive face-to-face meetings and staying connected using digital and social tools, our students experience first hand what it means to work in an analytics team, and develop the skills and personal qualities needed to deliver.