Here’s a light take on data science and the types of personalities that exist in the industry… From those of us obsessed with buzz words, to those who spend their life chasing the perfect model accuracy score. Can you relate to any of these types of data scientists?
1. The R Coder
The R coder insists there’s nothing that can’t be solved in R. From data integration to visualisation. If you have one of these types of data scientists in your business, you probably have some crazy R code in production. No one will be quite sure why it was written in R… but somehow it will do the job.
2. The Kaggle Competitor
This type of data scientist first fell in love with data science when they got involved with data competitions. After work and on the weekends, they are working on Kaggle problems. At the office you’ll find them trying to rally up a group to start a hackathon. They aren’t driven by the prizes, but the need to solve hard, interesting problems… and a strong sense of competition.
3. The Over Tuner
The Over Tuner is driven by the accuracy score. If someone doesn’t watch carefully, they can easily spend weeks trying to get the best prediction possible. The accuracy score is their dragon and they are committed to chasing it. These data scientists work best in risk and fraud analytics. On the other hand, they can easily annoy marketers who need larger audiences quickly.
4. The Over Estimator
You need some analysis done, so you go over to the desk of the Over Estimator. No doubt there will be plenty of groaning about how busy they are and a long explanation about how difficult the problem you’ve given will be to solve. Yet somehow, by the time you get back to your desk you’ll have the results in your inbox.
5. The Cowboy
Ask The Cowboy for their help and later that day you’ll see them in the in the CEO’s office with a presentation wracked full of numbers, rallying your cause. This type of data scientist is driven and creative… but be careful… they can sometimes forget about data security and important procedures in their quest to solve business problems.
6. The Arguer
Put two of these data scientists together in a room and they might never come out. They love to argue about the best sort of model to solve a problem, which variables are most predictive and if the results are accurate. XG Boost versus random forest? They have an opinion and they can’t wait to share it.
7. The Linguist
The Linguist loves to learn new programming languages. They were inspired to learn Python and R when the Harvard Business Review declared data science as the sexiest career in of the 21st century. This type of data scientist is addicted to adding new languages and technologies to their CV, but often cannot come up with one reference as to how they are relevant in business.
8. The Buzz Worder
The Buzz Worder knows how to talk the talk. Ask them a question and they will answer it using all the impressive jargon. Problem is, no one is sure what they mean… or if they know what they are talking about.
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About the author: Lara Scharenguivel is a senior consultant in our Advanced Analytics team. Lara is a creative, insights-driven, data and analytics specialist with over 10 years’ experience leveraging data to drive business decisions. Lara has experience across multiple industries including airlines, education, finance and banking, and has worked on numerous high-profile bankruptcy litigations following the 2008 financial crisis. Lara’s latest post: Personalisation at scale.