Wondering what the Hoosier State holds for data lovers? We’ve put together a quick guide on everything you need to know—from schools and research projects to scholarships and job prospects. Already have a university in mind? Skip ahead to our list of all the data science programs in Indiana.
Studying Data Science in Indiana
Indiana has a micro-climate for data science. Although Indianapolis experienced a minor brain drain from 2010-2015 (tech degrees vs. tech jobs added), the state has committed $1 billion to entrepreneurship and innovation through the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). Venture firms like Elevate Ventures and organizations like TechPoint are also seeding growth.
You’ll see evidence of this activity at places such as the Applied Data Science Core at the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI) and the 16 Tech Innovation Community in Indianapolis, as well as the Internet of Things (IoT) Lab in Fishers. Central Indiana is nowhere near a raging hotspot, but the state does attract tech workers who want job stability, affordable living costs, and short commutes.
Data Science Research & Initiatives at Indiana Universities
To feed this development, Indiana is relying on graduates from Indiana University Bloomington (IU), Purdue, and the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. IU is the name you’ll probably hear most often in data science conversations:
- The School of Informatics and Computing (SOIC) has a large number of research centers devoted to data and informatics, including the well-known Indiana University Network Science Institute (IUNSI) and the Center for Algorithms and Machine Learning (CAML).
- SOIC also fosters labs directed by well-known faculty, such as the Integrative Data Science Lab (IDSL).
- The university’s Center for Neuroimaging is part of the Neuroscience Spoke (i.e. Advanced Computational Neuroscience Network (ACNN)) in the NSF’s Midwest Big Data Hub.
Meanwhile, Purdue is taking an interdisciplinary approach:
- Its Discovery Park contains the Computing Research Institute (CRI), where faculty and data science students can tackle global problems and participate in the Discovery Park Big Idea Challenge.
- It has developed centers such as the PURVAC: Purdue University Regional Visualization and Analytics Center and the Business Information and Analytics Center (BIAC), which allow students and faculty to explore real-world applications of big data.
- It participates in the Center for Science of Information NSF Science & Technology Center, a collaborative effort intended to advance the next generation of information theory through research and teaching.
This is not to discount what’s going on elsewhere—Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) is doing some fascinating things in healthcare and bioinformatics (e.g. Center for Cancer Population Analytics and Patient-Centered Informatics) and the University of Notre Dame has an unusual Computational Data Science and Engineering research group—but they’re not the biggest players.
Online Data Science Programs in Indiana
Happily, a number of these Indiana schools have developed online programs in data science. As you might expect from their research interests, IU is focused on big data and IUPUI builds on the strength of its BioHealth Department.
We cover general things to look for in an online data science program elsewhere, so here we profile your choices in the Hoosier State.
Online Graduate Certificates in Data Science
For working professionals and recent graduates, IU has a broad-based online Certificate in Data Science that can be tailored to areas of interest (e.g. cloud computing, health and medicine, etc.). Course credits can be applied to the MS in Data Science later down the track.
IUPUI’s online Clinical Informatics Certificate is more focused on leveraging information systems than exploring the realm of data science, but it could prove useful if you’re a healthcare worker trying to wrangle big data from electronic health records.
You may also wish to visit our directory of Online Graduate Certificates in Data Science. This has a list of certificates in all kinds of fields (e.g. data mining, analytics, etc.) from respected schools (e.g. Stanford, Boston University, etc.) across the country.
Online Master’s Degrees in Data Science
IU has all kinds of solid graduate programs for distance learners. For instance, the School of Informatics has an online or hybrid Master of Science in Data Science and an online PhD Minor (useful for bolstering your street cred).
If you’re thinking of corporate applications, IU’s Kelley School of Business has an online Master of Science in Business Analytics. In 2017, Kelley was ranked #1 in Best Online Graduate Business Programs (Excluding MBA) by U.S. News & World Report.
Don’t have a bachelor’s degree in a quantitative or technical field? Have a look at the University of Notre Dame’s online Master of Science in Data Science. This was developed in collaboration with AT&T, and the curriculum contains a number of real-world projects. AT&T employees are also eligible for a tuition discount.
Working with big data in healthcare? Check out IUPUI’s online Master of Science or PhD Minor in Health Informatics. This explores everything from policy and product development to efficiency and customer service.
Data Science Scholarships in Indiana
For this section, we focused on university scholarships and assistantships (i.e. institutional aid) that apply to the school’s data science program. But don’t take this as the end! The Graduate Studies Office will have details on general aid (e.g. diversity scholarships) and alternative financing options (e.g. low-interest loans).
Indiana University Bloomington
- MBA Fellowships: Over half of MBA students at IU receive merit-based aid—awards can range from $10,000 to full tuition. No separate application is needed. Visit the website for full details.
- MBA Graduate Assistantships: MBA students, including those majoring in business analytics, are eligible for graduate assistantships when they are admitted into the program. Graduate assistants receive a partial fee remission and a monthly stipend. Assistantships are renewable.
- MSIS Fellowships: All students admitted to the MS in Information Systems program are considered for a limited number of merit-based fellowships (i.e. departmental aid). No separate application is needed.
- MSIS Graduate Assistantships: The Kelly School awards merit-based graduate assistantships to some students enrolled in the MS in Information Systems. Students work 5 or 12 hours per week.
- School of Informatics and Computing (SOIC) Graduate Assistantships: SOIC offers graduate assistantships to a number of its on-campus data science students after their first year of coursework. Further info is provided by the School to likely candidates.
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
- John R. Gibbs Undergraduate Scholarship/Graduate Fellowship for Innovation: The School of Informatics and Computing awards $1,000 each year to a full-time undergraduate or graduate student who is interested in innovation and entrepreneurship. The student must have a record of academic excellence and a minimum 3.5 GPA.
- School of Informatics and Computing (SOIC) Conference Scholarships: SOIC offers a couple of scholarships to graduate students who need help covering travel expenses to conferences. These include the ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing and the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.
- School of Informatics and Computing (SOIC) Graduate Assistantships: Just like its sister university, IUPUI offers a number of graduate assistantships to full-time students in a SOIC degree program. In return for financial support, GAs work 5-10 hours per week under the direction of a faculty member.
- Spandana Kommalapati Memorial Scholarship: This $1,000 annual scholarship is specifically awarded to an undergraduate or graduate student in the Department of BioHealth Informatics. Students must demonstrate academic excellence, a minimum 3.2 GPA, and financial need.
- MS BAIM Scholarship: Purdue offers a number of merit-based scholarships to students who are accepted into the Master of Science in Business Analytics and Information Management program. The number of scholarships depends on available funding. All applicants are considered; no separate application is required.
Saint Mary’s College
- MSDS Entrepreneurship Grant: Students in Saint Mary’s Master of Science in Data Science program are eligible to receive up to $10,000 as a seed grant to start a new business. However, this business must operate in the state of Indiana for at least two years.
Data Science Events in Indiana
Data Science Meetups & Communities in Indiana
Central Indiana is the place to be for networking and collaboration. Here are 5 data science meetups around Indianapolis that you may wish to explore:
- Big Data Developers Indianapolis: Sponsored by IBM, this hands-on meetup often features a presentation on a specific technology, followed by a chance to play and collaborate. Talks have included an overview of Watson’s capabilities, an intro to Apache Spark, Machine Learning, etc.
- DataScience Indy: This group is one of the largest and most popular in the state, and hosts regular monthly meetups in Indianapolis. Data science, big data, data analytics, data visualization—pretty much ever topic is explored. It also has its own Twitter feed.
- Indy Big Data: Based in the Carmel/Fishers area, Indy Big Data attracts folks who are building large-scale data processing systems and working with tools like Hadoop, HBase, Cassandra, MongoDB, etc.
- Indy useR Group: All levels of R users, from beginner to expert level, are welcome at this monthly meetup. It’s heavily focused on new tools and technologies, as well as research and commercial applications.
- Open Indy Brigade: Open Indy is taking an altruistic approach to data science, advocating for using public data and technology to improve Indianapolis. Members participate in Civic Hacks and projects that tackle city challenges—i.e. the Indy Idea Hub.
Data Science Conferences & Workshops in Indiana
It’s no secret that major data science conferences (e.g. Strata+Hadoop World, Predictive Analytics World, IEEE ICDM, SIGKDD, etc.) stick to large cities, but don’t forget that Detroit and Chicago aren’t far away. Alternatively, you can try some of the smaller events, which are often organized by IU universities. These include:
- Indiana University Network Science Institute (IUNI) Events: IUNI hosted the Conference on Big Data and Network Science in 2017, and it organizes regular NetSci Talks and Open Science Forums. All NetSci talks are livecasted and archived.
- Indy Big Data: Pardon the pun, but this is the big one in Indiana. The annual conference attracts 1,000+ attendees to workshops and talks on everything from analytics and data management to security and IoT. It ran into controversy in 2015, but it’s rebounded.
- IUPUI School of Informatics and Computing Colloquia Series: IUPUI invites a variety of leaders in informatics research and practice to its campus in Indianapolis. Talks cover a huge range of topics, but healthcare is often emphasized.
- Kelley School of Business Institute for Business Analytics (IBA) Conferences: The IBA has tons of interesting conferences at IU, including forums devoted to every aspect of analytics (e.g. marketing, supply chain, finance, etc.).
- Midwest Big Data Hub (MBDH) Events: Since IU is part of this hub, it’s worth checking the event calendar. For example, the university hosted a MBDH-sponsored workshop on “Data Quality in an Era of Big Data” in 2016.
Data Science Jobs in Indiana
As soon as you mention Indiana and data, someone is bound to bring up Salesforce. Its regional headquarters in Indianapolis employs ~1,500 people in the state, and it’s looking to add 800 new jobs by 2021. In 2013, it acquired ExactTarget for $2.5 billion.
But it’s not the only player. For example, the global pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Co. is working with IU on big data projects. There are also data-focused companies like Perscio, ClearObject, Predictive Science, Crowe Howarth, and SWC Technology Partners, as well as smaller tech startups like ClusterTruck (delivery app), DemandJump (AI), and Fizzology (social media research).
If you’re looking for up-and-coming opportunities, be sure to check out TechPoint’s Mira Awards, which honor the state’s most promising technology companies. In 2016, Plymouth Ventures decided to pump millions of dollars into one of the winners—the cloud solutions integrator Kinney Group, Inc.
Data Scientist Salaries in Indiana
According to Glassdoor, data scientists in Indianapolis could expect an estimated average salary of $94,267 in 2017—below the national average, but in line with its cost of living. You’ll find similar salary numbers in other “mid-tier” cities like Atlanta.
Wondering which university will give you the most bang for your buck? In Payscale’s 2016 College ROI Report, which assessed return on investment (ROI) after 20 years, Purdue was the top-performing school (#57), with the University of Notre Dame close behind (#65).
However, since data science is a new field, these long-term rankings need to be viewed with considerable caution.
We found 6 universities in Indiana offering Masters of Data Science programs (and/or closely related programs, like MS in Analytics / Masters in Business Analytics).
If you represent a university and would like to contact us about editing any of our listings, or adding new programs, please send an email to info (at) mastersindatascience.org.