What is Data Science?

Data. Knowledge. Action. Data Science


Data is changing how we work, how we live and how we think about the world. Data science applies analysis techniques to turn data into knowledge from which action can be taken. Data science spans from data extraction to deep analysis of data, concluding with presenting data to domain experts.

Data science techniques can be applied to data from a wide range of fields and disciplines, ranging from the humanities and physics to health care and business.

However, organizations today, whether for profit or non-profit, lack staff with the skills to extract knowledge from the reams of data available.

The UBC Master of Data Science program fills that gap. It provides graduates with the ability to analyze data, extract knowledge from that data and provide insights to those who can take action in an organization.

The data science value chain spans from programs and jobs aimed at extracting and manipulating large amounts of data to programs and jobs that focus on taking action on knowledge extracted from the data. The UBC Master of Data Science focuses on the middle of the value chain, producing graduates that can apply scientific approaches and techniques to answer questions posed by domain experts. These graduates work alongside experts in big data (for instance, from the SFU's Professional Master's Program in Big Data*) and graduates from business analytics degrees (for instance, from the Sauder School of Business' Master's Program in Business Analytics**) who specialize in prescriptive action.

SFU’s Professional Master’s Program in Big Data develops data architects who apply a deep knowledge of computer science to create new tools that find value in the vast amounts of information generated today. The program targets students whose undergraduate degrees are in computer science, or in quantitative fields, such as engineering or physics.

** UBC's Sauder School of Business Master of Business Analytics gives candidates with quantitative backgrounds sought-after analytical skills within a broader business context. Graduates will be able to apply advanced analytical tools and methods to address management challenges in today’s business world.