Community Data Science Theory and Practice

Data is the new water

Urban, suburban, rural and remote communities face oceans of data. This wealth of information has led to a need for practitioners who can navigate, interpret and share insights and information for plans, policies and paths of action. Developing skills in this emerging multidisciplinary field has become increasingly relevant for professionals working in urban planning, real estate, development, transportation, public policy and other related disciplines in the private, government or non-profit sector.

Learn data skills with SFU

Community data science focuses on the collection, analysis and dissemination of data into information and knowledge, with an emphasis on socio-economic, land-use, economic, real estate and transportation public datasets. 

In SFU's new community data science courses, you'll learn best practices for data use. While we will focus on Canadian community data—such as the Census, business licenses and property data—you will also develop skills and a conceptual understanding to analyze and share most structured public datasets.

You'll be able to apply your learning in various ways, depending on your field:

  • Policy planning: Learn skills to better analyze and develop public policy on housing, economic development, demographics and transportation. 
  • Real estate: Survey major economic, social and land use databases that will help your understanding of what shapes real estate demand and supply.
  • Journalism: Learn how to mine various key national and local datasets to build and strengthen your stories.
  • Non-profit organization: Develop and share better insights about your service population and community needs.

Community Data Science Courses

SFU's City Program is exploring the possibility of offering a Community Data Science program. As a first step, we are introducing a suite of pilot courses that focus on developing the initial theory and skills foundations needed to successfully transform data into information and knowledge. Classes will be small, learner-centred, and with an emphasis on real-world applications.

We are hoping this proposed program will eventually be approved by the SFU Senate as a certificate. Should we receive approval, we then hope to be able to give students who complete the following courses partial credit toward the certificate.

Courses in this program include:

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