Shifting to a Data Focus

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This session will reveal the journey that the UCLA Web Services Team is going through in transitioning from a traditional web development shop to a data first web services organization in support of research and researchers. Areas of focus will include transitioning from traditional infrastructure to cloud infrastructure as-a-service, APIs for data sharing, and creating new knowledge through collaboration.

Because research IT has become a commodity, we need to look for other avenues for adding value. One way of doing this is to shift focus away from the technology itself and toward the product of the technology; in this case, the data. To do this, we have removed the barrier of infrastructure by moving to AWS, allowing us to focus more energy on data strategies and less energy on managing infrastructure.

With our change in focus, we have also moved away from a traditional data presentation focus (administrative websites) and have moved toward an API and web application focus. UCLA has a tremendous amount of research data and by focussing in APIs we are enabling researchers to more easily share and consume that data in a way that is impactful to their research. By freeing data from the silos of presentation, making it portable, and accessible, the true value of the University's research can be realized.

Most importantly, we are enabling the creation of new knowledge by facilitating the combination of disparate data sources. By exposing the research data we already have and consuming research data from other sources, we are creating web-based data laboratories across vast datasets in an effort to bring together research and researchers in a novel way.      

Previous Knowledge

Session participants should have experience with web or software development, cloud services such as those provided by AWS or similar provider, APIs, and data sharing strategies. 



 

Software Installation Expectation

I will need to be able to connect my laptop to a projector... nothing else will be required. 

Session skill level
Intermediate
Session Track
Supporting Research and Researchers