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3 Ways Our Supersized Source Universe Expands the Potential of Academic Research Using Nexis® Data Lab

October 20, 2021

Nearly a decade ago, the Harvard Business Review proclaimed the data scientist as the “Sexiest Job of the 21st Century. Back then, authors noted that “More than anything, what data scientists do is make discoveries while swimming in data.” Is it any wonder, then, that as the velocity of data creation has accelerated and the volume of big data has grown exponentially, the number of data science jobs since 2012 has increased 650%?  Of course, this means that universities need research and analytics tools that give students access to a huge pool of data to support a hands-on learning environment. Nexis® Data Lab does just that. How?

1.    Data aggregation ensures source variety—all in one place

Data scientists often point to data wrangling as one of the most time-consuming aspects of AI and data analytics projects. It’s so common, in fact, that it’s sometimes referred to the 80/20 rule—up to 80% of time is spent collecting, cleaning, and organizing the data, with only 20% left for actual data analysis and other AI endeavours. Unlike traditional API solutions which may require days or even weeks to integrate high-volumes of data, Nexis Data Lab, brings big data to you—all students need to do is dive in.  

Nexis Data Lab taps into the incredible news archive available in Nexis Uni®. Decades of archival news data complement a steady influx of content from tens of thousands of news sources worldwide. Nexis Solutions works directly with the publishers and hosts the content, reducing the technical demands and cost burdens associated with building and maintaining a data lake, while also ensuring that students and professors using Nexis Data Lab can easily resume, replicate, and reproduce data analysis.

2.    Enriched data accelerates academic research and analysis

High-volume data offers obvious advantages when conducting text- or visuals-based analysis, but it can also slow the time to insight. That’s where the advantage of our data ecosystem kicks in. Long before data scientists were considered sexy, LexisNexis was investing in advanced technologies and developing patented solutions to help our customers extract insights from data faster.

LexisNexis® SmartIndexing Technology™ is a crucial component. By tagging the content that feeds our cloud-based research platforms and data as a service solutions, it is easier to refine search results with pre- and post-search filters. Given the volume at which news content is created, this is a critical advantage.

3.    High-volume news data enables data science experimentation

Preparing students for careers in data science means helping them develop a wide range of skills—from computational mathematics to communications. Many of the most valued skills fall within the categories of machine learning and artificial intelligence. The vast source universe available in Nexis Data Lab, along with the Jupyter Notebook environment, allows students to mine big data in a controlled environment and hone skills that are in demand. High-volume news data accessible within Nexis Data Lab, for example, can provide valuable training ground for machine learning algorithms, allowing students to test and refine trend models and more.

Likewise, Nexis Data Lab includes tools that support visuals-based analysis— a key skill that future data scientists will need in spades. Data scientists may love exploring data, but in the business world, decision makers who rely on data-driven insights don’t usually find the hunt for insights as exhilarating. Visuals-based analyses like charts, scatter plots, or clustering diagrams bring dry data to life, making it easier and faster to absorb—especially for individuals who find numerical data tedious and time-consuming to interpret. Tapping into one of the largest sources of news data in the world ensures that students have plenty of practice telling the stories waiting to be discovered in big data.

Check out Nexis Data Lab yourself to see the possibilities of a vast source universe at students’ fingertips.