Oxford University opened the new Data Science Lab in collaboration with Emirates on 29th October 2015. It will see experts from around the University use cutting-edge analysis to help the airline make its services more efficient and customer-focussed.
The new Lab will bring together researchers from at least five departments within the University, including the Mathematical Institute, the Oxford Internet Institute and the Departments of Engineering Science, Computer Science and Statistics. Joined by visiting Fellows from Emirates, the academics will work with the airline’s ever-growing datasets to help it understand its processes and customer preferences in greater detail. In turn, it will create new products and services, better suited to the needs of its passengers.
The University will provide Emirates with a wide-ranging pool of expertise in the form of mathematicians, scientists, engineers and social scientists. Emirates will provide industry expertise and the data itself — including information from its Skywards loyalty program.
In particular, researchers from the Mathematical Institute will investigate how to apply optimisation techniques to the Emirates data, and a team from Engineering Science will develop machine learning techniques that allow complex data sets to be interrogated quickly and efficiently. Meanwhile, social scientists from the Oxford Internet Institute will use behavioural analytics to understand the human aspects of the data.