The CSIR’s focus on data science research is developing descriptive, predictive, prescriptive analytical and visualisation computational tools to aid decision-making in prioritisation of challenges, resource allocation, planning, monitoring and evaluation. The CSIR’s Data Science research group has a sound knowledge base and research skills on various topics within advanced statistical modelling, forecasting, machine learning, deep learning and system dynamics. The group is made up of statisticians, computer scientists, mathematicians, operational researchers, data scientists and physicists.
The data science field is still relatively new. Technology and data science tools are ever-changing; hence the group keeps adjusting to offer data-driven solutions fit for the fourth industrial revolution. Some of the tools and technologies used in the field of data science are cloud analytics, including edge analytics, docker containers, virtual machines, data pipelines architectures to facilitate near real time analytics, data ingestion for social media analysis, tableau for data visualisation, programming languages, such as Python for machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, big and traditional data analytics.
The work at the CSIR is underpinned by research and science and, consequently, data science has tentacles in all research groups within the CSIR. Data science can therefore enhance the work of other research groups within the CSIR by not only offering expert knowledge on data collection, pre-processing, analytics, including forecasting, visualisation, and reporting, but also improving their publication performance. The group also offers a statistical consultation service.