The HDSI Vision

The Harvard Data Science Initiative represents Harvard’s commitment to shaping the new science of data. It illuminates the new interdisciplinary pathways that our faculty, students, and partners will use to solve real problems, in a world with critical ethical challenges regarding facts, data, and truth.


The era of data is upon us. Data proliferates at an unprecedented pace, gathered from all corners of our lives. From satellites in space to the cellphones in our pockets, the data revolution creates endless opportunities to confront the grand challenges of the 21st century. Combatting climate change, finding treatments and cures for the most devastating diseases, preparing workers for a future yet unknown – these challenges and more will benefit from the ever-growing expanse of data that is being collected today.

As the scale and scope of data grows, so too must our ability to analyze and contextualize it. Drawing insight from data requires new mathematics, new statistics, and new computer science. Putting those insights into action requires careful understanding of the ethical consequences that will impact all levels, from the individual to whole societies. In short, to make sense of the data revolution and unlock its potential, the world requires a new way of thinking, a new way of investigation, inclusion of new partners, all a part of the new science of data.

The Harvard Data Science Initiative (HDSI) – leveraging Harvard University’s extraordinary intellectual ecosystem – is singularly poised to understand the many dimensions of this new science of data and to propel it forward. Since its launch in 2017, the HDSI has united leading computer scientists, statisticians, and domain experts from law, business, public policy, education, medicine, public health, and myriad academic disciplines to derive meaningful and actionable insights that will shape the world for generations to come.


OUR FOUNDATION | We build upon our bedrock of strength in computer science, statistics, and the liberal arts. In addition to data-driven research, we are fundamentally committed to data science education at all levels and across disciplines.

OUR LENS | We work toward shaping the future of data-driven policy and the implications of big data for human society. We imbue all data-driven solutions with rigor, reproducibility, and contextual understanding.

OUR ENVIRONMENT | We leverage Harvard’s uniquely expansive network to connect cutting-edge technical expertise with deep domain knowledge across sectors including medicine, public health, law, business, and public policy. Our faculty generate data of incredible breadth and variety, creating arguably one of the richest data environments in the world.