The provisional assessment after the first six months is very positive, even though the various initiatives are currently at different stages:
- Events: Having completed two Big Data Seminars, a hackathon and a presentation at Luzerner Forum, Data Worlds has so far succeeded in making its presence felt a number of times. Furthermore, there are plans for other events for the general public and specialists, and also for participating in external events such as the SAS Forum in Zurich on 1 June 2016.
- X-Lab: Getting the X-Lab up and running is taking a bit longer than was planned initially. At the same time, the software provider SAS Institute AG has since come on board as the first major partner. The first courses are scheduled for June 3 and 24, 2016, together with further test courses. Additional partnerships are to be formed as well, with X-Lab becoming better integrated into the training and further education curricula and included organisationally within Lucerne School of Information Technology.
- Network of experts: Data Worlds has so far managed to form a large and highly competent network of 36 data experts from a wide range of disciplines. And in future it would like to diversify even more and enable its experts to play a bigger role externally – expanding the network continually and strengthening its ties.
- Project sponsorship: Over the past six months Data Worlds was able to support 30 projects, of which six have already been completed. New proposals can be submitted at any time.
The Experience Lab has so far managed to get SAS Institute Switzerland, an analytics specialist, on board as one of its highly competent partners. Markus Grau, Business Alliance & Academic Programme manager at SAS Switzerland, gave participants an insight into the field of business analytics, and he emphasised that big data as such is already "over the hill," even though the big challenges still remain when it comes to generating value from data. He also believes that there is a lot of potential in the field of visual analytics, which enables anyone to quickly recognise and understand dependencies. This should make it easier to include big data in our daily environment and to further leverage the added value it delivers. Here, SAS offers intelligent solutions, which in turn can benefit the X-Lab of the university. X-Lab aims to become a "sandbox" to which a wide range of questions on data topics can be addressed. There are also plans for X-Lab to offer SAS certification at a later stage.
At the end, participants were given several short presentations on interesting projects at the university that Data Worlds currently supports:
- Alexey Andrushevich/Rolf Kistler (School of Architecture and Engineering): "IoT, BigData & HomeCare"
- Ivo Willimann (School of Business): "Wohnkalkulator" (residence calculator) – application example for open government data"
- Gwen Wilke (School of Information Technology): "Insights into current big data projects"
- Michael Kaufmann (School of Information Technology): "Fuzzy location systems for mobility in smart cities" (sponsored by the Swiss National Science Foundation)
- Axel Vogelsang (School of Art and Design) "Cross-platform knowledge generation & visualisation"
- Urs Bucher (School of Business): "Establishing a national topic network on data+services* (sponsored by the CTI)
For further projects by Data Worlds, please see the project page.