International importance of Data Science on the rise

July 2 2018

The fact that Data Science has come to play an integral role in society is no longer news. What is newsworthy, however, is that although Data Science is still in its infancy in both the business world and in society, it is developing at an incredible rate. Nyenrode Business Universiteit wants to respond to this development and emphasize the international importance of Data Science. Accordingly, Prof. Ruud Wetzels has been appointed as a professor at Nyenrode Business Universiteit as of 1 July to hold the chair in Data Science. In this chair, Wetzels will be conducting research focused on applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI), mathematics and statistics in the business world.

Data Science is the science located at the intersection of computer science, mathematics and specific expertise, with the aim of gathering knowledge and insight from structured and unstructured data. For example, through optimization of data management followed by smart use of such data, businesses can make better (strategic) decisions. With this chair, Nyenrode aims to inspire students and researchers and take them to the next level in the field of Data Science. The position will be part of the Center for Auditing & Assurance in order to create critical mass together with the chair in Applied Mathematics (held by Prof. Jacques de Swart).

Bridge between science and the business world

Data Science is a uniquely interdisciplinary field, which makes it suitable to act as a bridge between science and the business world. In his research, Wetzels will therefore focus on how mathematics, statistics and AI can best be utilized in the business world and what the impact of this can be. In addition, one or more areas of application such as psychology, business administration or risk management will be included in the research topics. The professor will also work with the latest technological developments and further expand his international network.

Wetzels will combine this position with his work as Senior Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, in which he primarily advises the financial sector on Data Science and its operationalization. As a result, he will be able to apply his professorship directly in the business world and allow science and business to learn and benefit from each other. This is important for Nyenrode due to the university's business-oriented nature.

Impact of Data Science

'The impact of Data Science on our lives has grown tremendously in recent years,' Wetzels says, 'but due to the sharp increase in available data and applications, it is expected to become even greater. This explosive surge of applications means that research must be done on how these applications can best be used in business, and what the impact of this is.' With this chair and the appointment of Prof. Wetzels, PwC and Nyenrode are responding to this important societal trend and keeping up with the rapid succession of changes in this discipline.

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