Data Science Foundation
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This brief, to create a marketing plan and to develop a membership portal, followed on from previous work for the Data Science Foundation. Peppersack were initially appointed to conduct research on behalf of the Data Science Foundation; to examine the requirements of a professional body that would represent the interests of companies and individuals working in Big Data, to create a development strategy and to develop a corporate identity.
The brief was to build an online platform to enable the Data Science Foundation to function as the professional body for organisations and individuals operating within the sphere of Big Data and to enable it to effectively and efficiently manage its operations and communications.
Key elements within the brief were as follows:
- To develop a website that will attract professional interest and encourage membership of the Foundation
- To create an information hub that will be of interest to data scientists; including data science white papers, big data use cases and news
- To provide some non-technical information to business managers exploring the possible use of big data analysis in their organisations
- To build a membership administration area
- To link aspects of the site to an ecommerce system to automate payments
After a three month period of research and content writing the site was built within a further three months. The website provides easy access to a range of big data and data science related information including; university courses, technology, white papers and business analysis. The site underpins the marketing and communications activities of the Data Science Foundation and is central to the campaign to attract new members and gain financial support for the organisation.
Attracting and retaining members is fundamental to the success of the Data Science Foundation. Membership comprises of people studying to be data scientists, experienced data scientists, companies providing big data services and corporations buying those services. Each group has specific needs and requires different admin support. As such the membership area was designed to cater for these needs, to provide services to the different groups and to highlight the expertise of individual data scientists and Big Data companies. The system has been built to allow members to manage their own information, thereby reducing admin costs and improving the accuracy of the information provided. It has been linked into a membership administration system for record keeping and collection of membership fees.
A major component of the site is the provision of information about Big Data and Data Science. This ranges from information on UK university courses to news updates and white papers. Data Science providers including universities, hardware and software vendors, Big Data companies and individuals with expertise have been encouraged to participate in this by submitting information, reports and comment. The information on the site is reviewed and updated on a regular basis by various admins and contributors.
The site has been structured to reflect the information presented on the site and the types of users who will be accessing it. The site has eight main sections, each of which has a landing page allowing quick and easy access to lower level information. Key sections within these site are; Data Science Information, University Courses, Use Cases, Membership and Services.
Content Management and Backend Systems
Due to the size and the constant flow of information coming on to the site including; blogs, white papers, news, university course updates and use cases, it was important to define how various types of data would be handled and to provide a structure for information management. Where appropriate certain areas, for example membership and the jobs board, were linked into admin and payment systems to reduce staff involvement and to speed up the collection of fees.