LISA is an acronym for Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis. LISA was created in 1948 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, USA as the Statistical Laboratory to help agricultural researchers design experiments, analyse data, and interpret results. The Statistical Laboratory changed its name in 1973 to the Statistical Consulting Centre at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Then in 2008, the Statistical Consulting Centre was reorganised and renamed LISA, with Dr. Eric Vance becoming its first director. In 2016, LISA moved to the University of Colorado Boulder.

The historic journey to the establishment of LISA in Nigeria started in May 2013 with the selection of Dr. Olawale, then a doctoral student in the Department of Statistics, University of Ibadan, as the first LISA Fellow to Department of Statistics, Virginia Tech. Visiting LISA Fellows by then, were made to undergo intensive practical training under the supervision of the LISA 2020 Director and thereafter they returned to their home countries to start a statistical collaboration laboratory. Upon his return in 2014, he introduced the LISA 2020 concept to UI but opted to establish the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis and Collaboration (LISAC) in October 2014 at Obafemi Awolowo University, where he was employed as a lecturer. By December 2014, the second stat lab was created at Sekoine University of Agriculture (SUALISA), Morogoro, Tanzania (Vance and Magayane 2014). The birth of UI-LISA followed suit in March 2015 and it became officially recognized as a member of the LISA 2020 Network on June 4, 2015.