DataLab: Data Science and Informatics


DataLab (formerly Digital Scholarship Lab) serves as a laboratory for investigating, understanding and applying digital methods to research projects at UC Davis.

The lab’s experts help can help answer scholarly questions that can only be addressed by engaging with large collections of data or text — volumes far beyond a human’s capacity to read. They then help analyze the data and can even transform it into visual representations to take a scholar’s research, thesis paper or classroom instruction to the next level.

Additionally, through services and workshops, the DataLab provides knowledge and education to inform future research and elevate the type of intellectual questions that students, faculty and academics can ask and answer in the future.

The DataLab’s services are free to all UC Davis undergraduate, graduate and professional students, faculty, researchers and academics. Contact us with questions, for consultations, or to learn more.

Office Hours and Consultations

DataLab, 3rd Floor, Shields Library | (530) 752‑1138

DataLab facilitates the application of Data Science and Informatics methods and best practices to enhance research and learning in all domains across the University.  We work across the entirety of the research data pipeline, to provide support and training from method and algorithm development to analysis and visualization of translational, high-impact data-driven research. Contact us for support in data extraction, data analysis, GIS and cartography, and data curation.

Project Design and Implementation

Data analysis and presentation lie at the heart of digital scholarship. DataLab can help you analyze and visualize your data to advance your research activities, and for publication and presentation.Have an idea for a digital project but don’t know how to get started? We offer a range of services to help. Bring us your idea and we’ll help bring it to fruition. No prior technology experience or knowledge required.

Text Mining and Analysis

Text mining and analysis, which are the most commonly used services that the lab offers, allow researchers of all levels and across all disciplines to deepen their learning by searching through massive amounts of information in a more dynamic way than can be accomplished through conventional search engine queries. Staff in the lab can then help analyze that information so that researchers can more easily answer their research questions and validate their theories.

“For us, it’s not about finding the needle in hay stack. You can do that on Google. Instead, it’s about following the needle through all the haystacks. We are looking for flow and discourse and categorization through thousands upon thousands of texts.”

– Carl Stahmer, Director of DataLab

Data Design and Sustainability

Data powers digital revolution and increasingly stands as a primary research output. The DataLab can help you design and implement a sustainable data storage strategy for all your research data.

Data Analysis and Visualization

Have you ever looked a graph or flow chart and not understood the data or information it was trying to convey? Or perhaps you created a chart that couldn’t quite capture your findings in the way you’d hoped or that was easy to read?

The DataLab staff provides consultative services to help researchers determine the type of visual model that will best illustrate their data in a compelling and accurate way and helps them create those models with high-tech visualization tools. Using complex and scientifically rigorous forms, the experts at the DataLab can input large swaths of data and information into innovative programs that create eye-catching models, such as network visualizations, which add depth, dimension and a visually interesting element to research projects.

Instructional Support

In a digital age where information is being created at an astronomical pace, it is nearly impossible for faculty to retain both the knowledge tied to their subject matter expertise and stay on top of the ever-evolving technical skills required to conduct the highest-level research through digital platforms in the most efficient and effective manner. That is why the Digital Scholars Lab’s centralized service model is so critical to the learning environment at UC Davis — one of the top public universities in the world.

Staff at the Digital Scholars Lab partner and collaborate with faculty members to provide assistance with digital research related to classroom instruction. This can include helping to conduct a research project pertinent to a syllabus, helping a class with a research project throughout the duration of the course, or serving as a guest lecturer to provide one-time classroom instruction on research best practices.