D-Lab is a curious venture. We ran a lean operation in Spring 2013 -- lean in dollars, lean in staff, lean in philosophy. Even as we experimented and gathered data, we served more users than we dreamed we could.

To launch our operations, we built two sets of public-facing services:

  1. Easily fielded training and consulting -- intro methods modules, workshops, and working groups, plus stats and methods consulting, all in our beautiful new public space.
  2. Re-embedding and expanding dataset services -- UC DATA, the Census RDC, and selected new offerings, scoping out the terrain.

Behind the scenes we've been planning and talking with users. We've been coordinating with other partners on campus. We're hoping several projects we've been working on will come to fruition quite soon. And we've been building an organization that can find its future in the middle of incredible change.

As the budget ramps up -- that's the fortunate situation D-Lab is in -- our Spring 2013 experience is getting fed into a new round of planning. What D-Lab did this spring is not, remotely, everything D-Lab can and will do.

We'll be adding new offerings, and we'll be bringing on staff and a faculty director (nominations are due August 1). Among D-Lab's public-facing foci for the next 6-12 months are:

  1. Rationalizing and extending our training offerings -- putting together cohesive sequences and other formats reaching into the high end, taking on research design along with tools and skills.
  2. Moving into tech infrastructure -- clearing paths to compute resources and software, as well as restricted use data support.

And we've started several internal processes of strategic planning. All of this will be happening as the campus landscape, the tech scene, and our users' needs shift. In D-Lab's language, planning doesn't mean trying to get a fix on the future. It means scoping out the domains in which we invest next in learning.