Tulane launches Data Hub, QEP

Mercedes Ohlen, Staff Reporter

Tulane University announced a plan on Dec. 2 to promote data literacy on campus with a new initiative, The Data Hub.

Signage for the QEP around campus is a conspicuous reminder of the Data Hub, as Tulane undergoes an on-site reaccreditation visit.
Signage for the QEP around campus is a conspicuous reminder of the Data Hub, as Tulane undergoes an on-site reaccreditation visit. (Gabe Darley)

Led by Robin Forman, senior vice president for Academic Affairs and provost, The Data Hub aims to provide students and faculty with resources to interpret data that they encounter in the real world.   

Tulane created The Data Hub as part of the “Quality Enhancement Plan,” a five-year universitywide program to “implement and assess an initiative designed to improve student learning and success.”

The Data Hub will host public events as well as produce curated databases along with other future projects in order to bring this information to the general public. Most programming will start in the fall

Forman said that this initiative was heavily influenced by the constant COVID-19 statistics that have dominated life for the past two years.

“[COVID-19] has highlighted that it is increasingly important to be data literate – to be able to understand and think about new data and to reflect critically on data-based arguments – in order to make well-informed decisions about your own health and safety and to be an engaged citizen,” Forman said. 

Tulane faculty say they are hopeful that The Data Hub will help all students, regardless of their major or interests.

“I think too often we think of data as just STEM related and just numbers – but look at lots of things we do today: topic analysis of news articles, discovery in court documents, and finding patterns in music – everything is data and I’d be hard pressed to come up with a field that isn’t more data-fied today than it was even 10 years ago,” Nicholas Mattei, assistant professor in the computer science department, said.  

The Data Hub will open a physical location in addition to their online work within the next year.