Some Assembly Required
At some point I stumbled across Drew Conway’s Venn diagram of data science. In some versions you will see “data scientist” replaced with “unicorn”. That was my thought looking at this picture. Only a crazy person could or would be an expert in all three…But I’m a glutton for punishment and took this as a personal challenge. I found myself approaching each of these bubbles as you would course work for a major or degree. I built a little rubric in my head with internet courses to take and HackerRank problems to solve.
Fast forward a few years and I’ve realized this unicorn has a few more horns. In the business world, creating data insights and predictions without the ability to communicate those ideas makes you much less effective. It doesn’t discount the importance of the other three areas, it’s just an additional ingredient necessary for success. Stephan Kolassa highlights the need for communication skills in his update to the Conway Venn diagram.
I still think that Hacking Skills, Math & Statistics Knowledge and Substantive Expertise (shortened to "Programming", "Statistics" and "Business" for legibility) are important... but I think that the role of Communication is important, too. All the insights you derive by leveraging your hacking, stats and business expertise won't make a bit of a difference unless you can communicate them to people who may not have that unique blend of knowledge. —Stephan Kolassa
Luckily, communication of highly technical subject matter was covered exhaustively during my PhD. That training helped immensely but it means each project has another layer. It also expands the list of ‘topics to master’…my data science “course rubric” is growing. There are so many new skills to learn and so many little boxes on Kolassa’s diagram to color in!
So, I’ve decided to dedicate some time to data science topics for the next few months (#100daysofdatascience for #unicornassembly). I will post here about my successes (and failures) as I go!