Today’s technologies have allowed all sectors of our society – individuals, businesses, governments, social and physical sciences, medicine –  to harvest massive amount of data. These data can potentially offer insights that can create economic growth, make our society safer, advance scientific discovery, and improve our quality of life.

However, the abundance of data also poses unprecedented challenges: the onerous task of processing raw data for consumption, the difficulties of integrating data from diverse sources, the improper use of data and tools that may lead to wrong conclusions, the shortage of data scientists, and many others.

As a comprehensive university, NUS has a golden opportunity to shape a transdisciplinary data-driven research agenda that is not only impactful but can potentially restructure how we do research, with the Institute of Data Science (IDS) as the focal point for all data science research, education, and related activities at NUS.

We can leverage and mobilise NUS’ existing strengths in diverse disciplines to create significant integrated capabilities in data science research. Our position in Asia allows us to access datasets for tackling problems that are unique to Singapore and Asia. By working on these real-life problems, we can foster strong collaborations between researchers from different disciplines, as well as with industry and policy makers. We can motivate and educate a next generation of hands-on and scientifically-skilled data scientists, addressing the demands for data science as Singapore continues on the journey to realise its Smart Nation vision.