Data Lab

Directors: Prof. Livia De Giovanni (ldegiovanni@luiss.it) - Prof. Gianni Riotta (datalab@luiss.it)

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The Luiss Data Lab, born in 2018 to study the impact of data on our societies, has been enriched since the end of 2020 and the fusion with CeFOP (Research Center on the Economics of Education and Training), a laboratory of excellence in humanistic and interdisciplinary research, specialized in the scientific culture of data and digital with communication strategies on the impact for societies, economies, companies, institutions and politics. The Center has extended its research fields to the study of all areas which - along with the human capital - contribute to the development of a territory, in particular to issues concerning the digital transformation of the economy and society, including the information society.  

The Center aims to: 

  • monitor the evolution of the economic and social system towards an economy based on knowledge and information through analyses on education, human capital, research and development, statistics learning, news, media;
  • promote multidisciplinary and experimental research combining the standard analysis of social and political narrative with new cognitive tools such as big data, artificial  intelligence and blockchain;
  • analyse disinformation phenomena through techniques and methodologies of data-driven journalism, data scraping, data visualization, data collection, sentiment analysis, algorithms on graphs for clustering and centrality;
  • perform fact-checking activities thanks to the network of the ALETHEIA Center of Excellence. 

Central tools in the Center's work are machine learning algorithms and econometric statistical models (even in the presence of complex data structures of large dimensions), including the evaluation of the effectiveness of interventions with counterfactual methods of causality. The analyses make it possible to find associations, identify trends and dynamics underlying phenomena such as the Covid-19 contagion, spread of disinformation, performane of the financial markets. The research products are addressed to organizations, training institutes, enterprises and public institutions in order to guide the choices of the latter.  

The Data Lab cooperates with Harvard University as part of a disinformation project funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. It has been awarded two Horizon 2020 projects: SOMA (Social Observatory for Disinformation and Social Media Analysis) and Mediafutures (Data-driven innovation hub for the media value chain). The Data Lab has also been awarded the IDMO (Italian Digital Media Observatory) project - funded under the CEF-TC-2020-2 EDMO European call - which will constitute an international hub aimed at supporting and implementing the work of the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO). The project partners - TELECOM, RAI, GEDI, Università di Tor Vergata, Newsguard, Pagella Politica, T6 Ecosystem - will join forces and expertise to fight disinformation.

Structures established within the Center