Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub Community Engagement


Our Community Commitment

Here at the Hub, we believe in strengthening our impact by building and expanding partnerships across industry, academia, nonprofits, and government. Through our efforts in collaboration with the community, we address societal and scientific challenges, spur economic development, and accelerate innovation in the national big data ecosystem.

The Northeast Hub is a community convener, collaboration hub, and catalyst for data science innovation in the Northeast Region. The Hub amplifies successes of the community, and shares credit across the community to encourage collaboration and mutual success in data science endeavors.

An Overview of our Community

Community Growth of the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub

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Northeast Big Data Hub Audience: Individuals, Organizations, and Higher Education Institutions Reached through December 2023

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NEBDHub Community Members
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NEBDHub Institutional Members
  • The Hub audience is composed of individuals from the 50 states in the U.S. plus Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., and 62 countries outside of the U.S. including Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Haiti, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe.

  • Through December 2023, the Hub reached 9,645 individuals, spanning across sectors including academia, non-profit, industry, and government.

  • Through December 2023, the Hub reached 1,431 organizations/institutions. About 40% of the organizations reached by the Hub reside in the Northeastern U.S. The remaining organizations span across the South, Midwest, and West regions of the U.S., as well as organizations outside of the U.S. in 49 additional countries.

Through December 2023, the Hub reached 774 Higher Education institutions. Of those institutions, 169 (21%) are minority-serving institutions (MSI). 

Higher Education Minority Serving Institution Types Reached by the Hub

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* Total is greater than n=169 because some institutions have more than one MSI designation (e.g. HSI and AANAPISI)

Community Growth in 2023

In 2023, the NEBDHub grew more than 33%, welcoming 2,435 new individuals and 125 organizations to its community. The Hub now reaches all 50 U.S. states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and 61 non-U.S. countries.

The Hub’s MSI-affiliated community grew by 32% while the number of MSIs in the community increased by 13%. The Hub welcomes 20 new HSI, AANAPISI, HBSU, PBI, ANNH, NASNTI, and/or TCU institutions into this supportive community!

Community Growth in 2022

In 2022, the NEBDHub grew more than 40%, welcoming 2,071 new individuals and 217 organizations to its community. The Hub grew to reach 59 non-U.S. countries, with the newest additions including Belgium, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Finland, Israel, Myanmar, Pakistan, Romania, Taiwan, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

The Hub also increased its community of MSIs by more than 23%, reaching 28 new HSI, AANAPISI, HBSU, PBI, ANNH, NASNTI, and/or TCU institutions.

Community Growth in 2021

In February 2021, the Hub launched the National Student Data Corps (NSDC), which as of December 2021, had brought 1,807 new individuals and 149 new organizations into the Hub community. This included the addition of more non-U.S. countries including Australia, Botswana, Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, India, Lebanon, Mali, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, South Korea, United Arab Emirates.

In 2021, the Hub community grew by about 96%, reaching 2,515 new individuals and 315 new organizations. Individuals from 22 more non-US countries were reached by the Hub through our various programs and events.

Community Growth in 2020

In 2020, the Hub reached 1,210 new individuals from 409 organizations in 47 U.S. states, plus Washington, D.C. and 7 non-U.S. countries including China, Greece, India, Nigeria, Peru, Switzerland, the United Kingdom.

Since its launch in July 2020, the COVID Information Commons has reached 3,336 individuals across 776 organizations, spanning various sectors, across all regions of the U.S., Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico, as well as 37 other countries, including Argentina, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, France, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe.

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CIC Community Members

National Student Data Corps

The National Student Data Corps (NSDC) began in 2020 with a call for a Founding Committee (NSDC FC) which attracted 24 individuals from 19 organizations across the Northeast region. Working together in three teams responsible for Content and Pedagogy, Peer Instruction and Mentoring, and Outreach, the NSDC was launched with the Inaugural NDSC Data Science Career Panel on February 19, 2021. The panel included students, professors, researchers, and a data science professional with leadership experience in industry, nonprofit, and government organizations, inspiring learners of all ages to pursue or consider data science careers. 

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NSDC Community Members

As of December 2023, the NSDC community is made up of 5,447 individuals from 660 institutions representing the U.S. and 30 other countries – Australia, Bangladesh, Botswana, Canada, China, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mali, Mexico, Moldova, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

Seed Fund Program

  • The 2020 Seed Fund Program reached 253 institutions within the Northeast region, including a new outreach list of 150 academic institutions that include minority serving institutions, colleges and universities without data science programs, and data science institutes.
    • In total, the Hub received 40 seed fund proposals from 29 different institutions. 90% (36) of proposals came from academic institutions and the remaining 10% (4) came from non-profit organizations.

        • The Hub awarded 19 seed grants to 16 different institutions. 18 of the awards were granted to academic institutions and 1 to a non-profit. 3 of the awards were granted to Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).

    • The 2021 Seed Fund program received 32 proposals, 30 of which were from academic institutions and 2 were from non-profits.
        • 7 Seed Fund grants were awarded, 6 to academic institutions and 1 to a non-profit.

    Hub Leadership

    The Hub leadership consists of four committees comprised of 33 individuals from 27 different organizations in the Northeast region.

    The four teams are comprised of:

      • 7 individuals on the Steering Committee from both the academic and nonprofit sectors.
      • 8 individuals on the Seed Fund Steering Committee from the academic, industry, and nonprofit sectors.
      • 4 individual Co-Principal Investigators, and one Principal Investigator, from the academic sector.
      • 18 individuals on the Advisory Board from the academic, industry, and nonprofit sectors.

    Evaluating and Strengthening Hub Actions

    The Hub is committed to continuously strengthening our impact by utilizing the community’s feedback to guide our practices and understand how we can best serve the community. To assist us on this mission, we use an independent evaluator to help us assess the impact of various efforts led by the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub.

    In 2020, we drew on the help of Knology, an impartial research collective independent of the Northeast Big Data Hub, to evaluate the Hub’s activities. In July of 2020, we were provided with the first phase of the Knology evaluation. The report explored the impacts of the Hub’s programmatic activities aimed at increasing engagement in big data science, developing shared resources and services, and data science education and workforce development.

    The data collected in the report suggested that the Hub occupies a central role in fostering meaningful collaborations between stakeholders from various sectors of the data science field and is well suited to address some of the current gaps in the field around gathering and sharing large datasets. The second phase of the evaluation was made available in December 2020.

    Overall, the the second phase of the evaluation in December found the community to be even more satisfied with the Hub, and the summative evaluation demonstrated that the Hub is successfully meeting each of the four stated goals laid out in its strategic plan. There are still some challenges to address as the Hub continues to grow – particularly around staff capacity – but it has a strong foundation on which to improve and grow with continued NSF support. In sum, analysis across both rounds of evaluation demonstrate that, building on successful efforts to date, the Hub has a critical future role to play in increasing data science capacity, access, and opportunity throughout the Northeast region and beyond.

    Some findings from the summative evaluation include:

      • The Hub’s more streamlined and targeted outreach efforts have resulted in deeper and more diverse engagement with the community
      • There are clear channels of communication between the Hub and members of the data science community.
      • The Executive Team has stepped up efforts in the area of community building, yielding tangible outcomes
      • Through the Hub’s activities, members have expanded their professional networks and been exposed to new opportunities for collaboration.
      • The Hub encourages active involvement from young people and has provided ways to engage them that align with the needs of both professors and students.
      • The Hub is continuing to grow by amplifying the work of its existing members and reaching new potential stakeholders.

    Evaluation feedback from participants: 

    “They’re doing a darn good job of linking people together, and that’s the best use of data.”  

    “One of the hallmarks of the Northeast Big Data Hub is the collaboration aspect.”  

    “They’re very responsive, always open to conversation and discussions, brainstorming about new ideas, open to expanding into whatever areas might be useful for the researchers involved.”

    The entire summative evaluation report is available for download.

    Hub Activities to Serve our Community

    As part of the evaluation, Knology identified ways that the Hub may seek to maximize its impact in the following years. We are working to build their recommendations into our strategy and operations.

    Beyond our existing community events, we will reach broader and non-academic communities by incorporating the following strategies:

      • Increasing our participation in existing conferences and events popular among the community, such as research and education network events and college events
      • Organizing new community events, such as the COVID Information Commons (CIC) Community lightning talk webinars and events 
      • Creating more content highlighting Northeast data science projects, outcomes, and opportunities from community voices, including community Success Stories
      • Incorporating topics highlighting new developments in the field, across our four Focus Areas
      • Expanding existing multi-channel communications, with more news on LinkedInInstagram, and Twitter, as well as our YouTube channel

      • Meeting quarterly to review engagement analytics to inform communications strategy

    Your Feedback

    Here at the Hub, we value your thoughts and believe they’re very important in helping us inform our practices. Please feel free to leave us feedback using the form below.