Welcome to DSSRN
The Data, Systems and Society Research Network (DSSRN) is a collaborative research network focused on building a community of research scholars, and data infrastructure, to support internal collaborations and external partnerships, as well as sharing knowledge, tools and resources in the broad area of data, systems, and society.
The Network provides leadership across the University of Melbourne to facilitate the development of research initiatives, support collaborative research, and assist in forming research clusters in conjunction with suitable partners by planning and delivering targeted research events.
With the increasing sophistication and ubiquity of data garnering technologies, the quantity, resolution, and scope of data that we can collect is growing at an incredible rate. This has led to the popularisation of the notion of "big data" analytics. Beyond the celebratory rhetoric which sees governments, industry and the academy invest in building enhanced data capacity, the true potential of having more data is highly dependent on format and context, behind which are hidden many domain-specific subtleties, constraints, risks and blind-spots.
Many fields that have typically been seen as "data-poor" are now becoming "data-rich", and face the prospect of being able to explore many new questions. With greater quantities, and new types of data available, there are new opportunities to borrow from methods and tools that have been developed in traditionally data-rich disciplines. However cross-disciplinary knowledge transfer is critical to building meaningful and appropriate capacities around data.
Methods cannot be borrowed from other domains and applied indiscriminately to any dataset; just because something can be computed does not mean that the result has meaning. Locked away in many disciplines is a wealth of knowledge, much of it implicit, which must be understood in order to conduct valid research. Big data doesn’t always translate to better or more objective results.
Accordingly, we need to move beyond the celebratory moment of "big data" and deal with issues of definitional ambiguity, methodological constraints, ethics, governance, sustainability and other domain-specific complexities that do not preclude fruitful cross-disciplinary collaborations, but which require nuanced understanding and consideration from all sides.
We need to bring experts from difference disciplines and domains together to identify and understand these issues, so that we can identify real opportunities for cross-disciplinary research. Our mission is to help these people to find each other, to critically evaluate the applicability of available tools, methods, and datasets, and to help them foster new and exciting collaborations to address (and define) the real problems of working with unprecedented data.
Our steering committee meets monthly to identify data research capabilities and needs across the University.Find out more
Affiliated researchers play an active role in identifying and sharing knowledge, tools, and resources from their research domains.Find out more
Industry affiliates provide unique perspectives on data research translation and needs on a broader scale.Find out more
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DSSRN Launch Event
This event will bring together RHD students, academics and support staff from across the University working in areas of big data, data science and informatics, and will provide exciting opportunities for:
- Forming new interdisciplinary collaborations;
- Discovering a huge range of available data sets and tools; and
- Defining a research agenda for building University capacities in these areas.
DSSRN highlights data infrastructure and analytic capabilities, the context and framing of meaning in the data, and the theoretical framing of research questions. This network focuses on applications of data to answer research questions, thinking about what kinds of problems we have, and within that a discussion of the possible approaches. What can we learn by sharing knowledge across different research areas?
Our launch event will take place in the Woodward Conference Centre, Level 10, Melbourne Law School.
- Coffee and Registration
- Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country
We recognise the valuable and unique status of Aboriginal people as the original owners and custodians of the land and waters of this nation.
- Introduction to DSSRN
Why does this research network exist, what are we trying to achieve, and why should you care?
- "Sound bite" talks
These talks will introduce exciting new challenges, opportunities and capabilities across the University.
- Networking and Lunch (from 12:00pm)
Please contribute to this wish list during the day!
We will collaboratively assemble a "wish list" of data techniques, capabilities, and infrastructure. A range of data visualisations, research platforms, and other resources will be on display, highlighting the diverse range of capabilities and activities across the University.
- Sprint Session 1: Modelling
There is interest in incorporating modelling into the research process in research domains where there is limited, if any, modelling expertise. Clearly there are fertile opportunities to develop new inter-disciplinary collaborations, what can be done to facilitate this?
- Sprint Session 2: Research Data
With the increasing sophistication and ubiquity of data garnering technologies, the quantity, resolution, and scope of data that we can collect is growing at an incredible rate, and many fields that have typically been seen as "data-poor" are now becoming "data-rich". We have a vast amount of expertise in data management, analysis, etc, but much of it is localised within research domains, how can we share this expertise and related resources?
- Sprint Session 3: Telling Stories with Data
What kinds of narratives can we shape from our data, and what are the tools and platforms that can enable us to share these stories with expert and non-expert audiences around the world?
- Afternoon tea
- Capability Mapping
What are our current capabilities, where are the gaps, how should we go about addressing them, and how can we best identify new collaborations? We will highlight topics and themes for future DSSRN events, informed by feedback collected throughout the day, and key aspects of the research agenda for building University capacities.
Please suggest an activity or outcome you'd like us to deliver in the future on the back of your nametag, and you'll enter into the running for a prize!
You could benefit from engaging with us if you have data-related expertise, capabilities, infrastructure or needs. Contact us and we will come to you — host one of our monthly steering committee meetings and tell us all about your research and data-related challenges!
- Postal Address
- Data, Systems and Society Research Network
Level 4, Building 193
The University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010, Australia
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