Can data improve the future of our humanity? You better believe it. “Big data” is more than just big businesses. Every day, social impact groups are finding new and creative ways to act upon the information that they’re generating. They’re using data to surface new information, uncover underserved communities, and track performance over time. Here are 5 very different organizations that are using data, in new and creative ways, to improve the lives of people around them:
From my past experiences at both large tech companies and small startups, there is a tendency to assign data projects to rockstar developers and let them run with it. The results are often interesting from a data science standpoint, but nonfunctional from a product standpoint.
The problem with this approach is twofold. First, how the developers approach the data and how the data integrates into the product are fundamentally different. Second, datasets in the real world are messy—inaccurate, imprecise, and unstructured—and this can render them unusable in their initial format.
At VeryApt, every data project is allocated developer hours, analyst hours, and budget for external resources (such as tools and supporting datasets). With these constraints established, our analysts and developers work together to create clear goals for the product and its associated site integration. This allows the team to narrowly focus their efforts and determine if the data available can produce useable results. Continue reading →
As you know, women are woefully underrepresented in STEM fields (science, tech, engineering, and math) – making up barely 11% of math faculty, and earning only 18% of computer science degrees. Nearly half of the women who graduate with engineering degrees never enter the profession, or leave soon after.
There is, however, one hugely in-demand STEM specialty where women dominate: statistics!
What makes a job sexy? Money, power, sex appeal? To us, finding a job you love, that is totally in demand (read: people want you), is what’s sexy. With that definition, there is no sexier job these days than….data scientist.
According to IBM, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. This data comes from all sorts of places; social media, e-mail, purchase transactions, digital photos and videos, and log data (data extracted from web servers), just to name a few. This data is too large and complex to handle with traditional means of data management, and data scientists are the individuals who know what to do with it.
Love is a difficult concept to grasp in general, but perhaps even more confusing once the internet becomes a factor. We search for meaning in signals or cues and try our hardest to gain insight into another person’s perspective. Is there a logical way to interpret someone else’s behavior in order to make smarter, more informed decisions moving forward? OK Cupid thinks so.
Data science is the art of using data to create products, obtain actionable insights, and communicate decisions to non-technical people.
2. What are some practical applications of data science?
Most recommendation engines you see on a shopping sites use machine learning and data science. Any data visualization you thought was cool in the last year or so was probably the result of hacking together data. In short, we use data science to help us discover new bands, secure our mobile phones, and ultimately tell a clear story from large, unclear amounts of data.
Keep your goals in sight. You’ve made your resolutions — we want to help you keep them (at least the ones that aren’t food related). That’s why we’ve put together five simple things you can do to get started in Data Science.