Data can be collected from various sources, while the amount of available data from various industries is beyond what can be imagined ten years ago. There has been a significant increase in the scale and complexity of available and analysable data, and this concerns every aspect of society – e.g., healthcare, businesses, public security, scientific discovery and public policies – and leads to unprecedented demands for relevant personnel around the world, such as data engineers, data scientists, statisticians, and data analysts who are able to translate data into evidence-based solutions.

Data can assist in our discovery of regularities and our development of innovative solutions. However, our capacity in extracting value from the existing data is limited by the lack of expertise and technology. Data processing requires specialised skills and tools, and inevitably leads to thorny issues such as privacy, security and ethics. Data science is an emerging and increasingly important discipline.