Data analysis and visualization in nursing practice date back to Florence Nightingale in the mid-1800s. Her famous coxcomb graphs illustrated her dive into the complexity of data, and her goals were clear. Using applied statistical methods available at the time, she was successful in advancing nursing practice and saving lives.

What Nightingale began more than 150 years ago continues today with an emerging science that will allow nurses to make deeper and quicker data dives and develop more targeted solutions than she could have ever imagined. Today’s data revolution is aided by (1) rapidly increasing amounts of digital data, (2) success stories of data transforming other industries, (3) advances in computing power and analytics, and (4) increasing opportunities in education surrounding the new field of data science.2,3 

Data science is a new science defined by the US National Institutes of Health as an “interdisciplinary...

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