From the Directors: An Update on Dataverse

October 11, 2022
Composit image of Elizabeth Jackson and Gary King


At IQSS, we have been doing deep dives into the many areas and layers of our work, looking for ways to maximize our impact and position ourselves for even greater success. As part of this, we have been assessing our formal and functional organizational structure and have identified some changes we want to make around the leadership of our Dataverse platform.

Following a series of in-depth conversations and consideration of different organizational structures, we have decided to move the full Dataverse team, and scope of work, under Stefano Iacus, Director of Data Science and Product Research and Senior Research Scientist. When Mercé Crosas departed IQSS last year, IQSS Director of Engineering Len Wisniewski held the responsibility of carrying forward many of our projects and managing our technical teams. Len has done a tremendous job leading the Dataverse team and projects during this period of time, in addition to his full scope of responsibilities. We are grateful to Len for his willingness to take on this additional work, especially given that it was during a time of several IQSS staff and leadership transitions. Stefano’s joining IQSS this spring presented the opportunity to bring his relevant experience and expertise to Dataverse as we think strategically about the way forward. Through Len and Stefano’s collaborative leadership, the Dataverse team has been having a series of thoughtful discussions about innovation and a relaunch plan for the platform. 

At the same time, there is increasing momentum from the excellent collaborative work that has been happening under Len’s leadership between our Sid team and FASRC — the IQSS team is now positioned to manage the front end with FASRC managing the back end of the research computing cluster for all of FAS and beyond. The DV transition enables Len to have more time to dedicate to this substantial and growing area of ongoing and important research computing efforts with FASRC, HUIT, and other stakeholders across the University.

Len and Stefano will continue to work closely together during this transition period and beyond as members of the IQSS leadership team. The Dataverse team members that are most directly impacted by the reporting structure change, and Bob and Ellen, will shift to reporting to Stefano this month. We plan to post and backfill the Dataverse Development Project Manager position and are in the process of developing the plan for the posting of other Dataverse roles to add to our current team. The intention is to have completed the full transition of all Dataverse related activities from Len to Stefano by December. After December Len will continue to be available to offer strategic input around Dataverse going forward. 

A big thank you to the Dataverse team members for the great work they have been doing and for their important roles in this transition, and to Andrew for his valuable role in our strategic conversations considering various models and options. Thank you to Len and Stefano for partnering together around this transition and for the significant areas of work they will be leading going forward. We look forward to seeing how both Dataverse and Sid will continue to innovate and grow.

Best wishes,

Elizabeth Jackson, Executive Director of IQSS

Gary King, Faculty Director of IQSS