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Building a Data-Driven WorldTM
Open Data Science Conference
A Hybrid Approach to Data
Science Project Management
Elaine Le...
2Open Data Science Conference#ODSC
Organizations want to be data-driven but many obstacles stand in their way:
• Communica...
3Open Data Science Conference#ODSC
Where should Enroll America direct its insurance signup efforts?
Mapping the Uninsured ...
4Civis Analytics | Proprietary and Confidential
As a company, Civis traces its
origins to the 2012 Obama for
America analy...
5Civis Analytics | Proprietary and Confidential
Today, we
leverage data
science to help
our clients in
politics, non-
prof...
Open Data Science Conference#ODSC Open Data Science Conference#ODSC
An easy-to-use,
end-to-end, incredibly
extendable, dat...
7Open Data Science Conference#ODSC
The Civis Approach
ProductConsulting R&D
Applied Data Science
• Tackles the toughest da...
8Open Data Science Conference#ODSC
The Civis Approach
Our unique team structure allows
us to solve your biggest problems
w...
9Open Data Science Conference#ODSC
Strategies and philosophies
• Teams based on Civis’s product and consulting needs:
• “B...
10Open Data Science Conference#ODSC
Tools
• Share and discuss data science news
• Receive feedback from colleagues
using o...
11Open Data Science Conference#ODSC
Tools
• Prototype new workflows
• Used like a log book to record and
present results
•...
12Open Data Science Conference#ODSC
Tools
• Department heads set milestones,
check progress, and make project
staffing dec...
13Open Data Science Conference#ODSC
Tools
Strategies
• Designate “tag team” on R&D as
default R&D resources for client
eng...
14Open Data Science Conference#ODSC
1. Assemble a project team of R&D data
scientists and Applied Data Scientists
2. Work ...
15Open Data Science Conference#ODSC
Tools
Strategies
• Designate teams at the interface to
triage issues and plan new
deve...
16Open Data Science Conference#ODSC
1. After the postmortem for the Enroll
America engagement, R&D begins
prototyping auto...
Open Data Science Conference#ODSC
Our approach to data science consulting and product development
is enriched by valuable ...
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A Hybrid Approach to Data Science Project Management

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A talk about how Civis Analytics, a data science consultancy and software company, does project management using a blend of approaches from academia, consulting, and software engineering.

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A Hybrid Approach to Data Science Project Management

  1. 1. Building a Data-Driven WorldTM Open Data Science Conference A Hybrid Approach to Data Science Project Management Elaine Lee elee@civisanalytics.com @elaineklee
  2. 2. 2Open Data Science Conference#ODSC Organizations want to be data-driven but many obstacles stand in their way: • Communication not trickling up to executives and key decision makers • Silos between departments, making it difficult to share and collaborate on analysis • Data ingestion (ETL or Extract-Transform-Load) is difficult and time-consuming • Lack of meaningful, yet customizable visual reporting • Inability to flexibly scale up or down technological needs at a reasonable cost • Inadequate or overwhelming learning resources about data science A Common Problem With Many Faces
  3. 3. 3Open Data Science Conference#ODSC Where should Enroll America direct its insurance signup efforts? Mapping the Uninsured in America
  4. 4. 4Civis Analytics | Proprietary and Confidential As a company, Civis traces its origins to the 2012 Obama for America analytics team. We built a scientific understanding of each voter. Our data science influenced every strategy and tactic: voter targeting, messaging, media buys, and fundraising. This meant the campaign could allocate resources where impact would be greatest. We ran the first individualized presidential campaign Civis Analytics | Proprietary and Confidential Open Data Science Conference#ODSC
  5. 5. 5Civis Analytics | Proprietary and Confidential Today, we leverage data science to help our clients in politics, non- profits, and the corporate world. Civis Analytics | Proprietary and Confidential Open Data Science Conference#ODSC
  6. 6. Open Data Science Conference#ODSC Open Data Science Conference#ODSC An easy-to-use, end-to-end, incredibly extendable, data science platform in the cloud for teams who want to make great data-driven decisions to drive their organizations forward. Introducing Civis
  7. 7. 7Open Data Science Conference#ODSC The Civis Approach ProductConsulting R&D Applied Data Science • Tackles the toughest data science problems we can find Data Science R&D • Generalizes and automates the solution for many scenarios Software Engineering • Integrates solutions into user-empowering software • Highly collaborative departments • All departments contribute to both our services arm and product development
  8. 8. 8Open Data Science Conference#ODSC The Civis Approach Our unique team structure allows us to solve your biggest problems with custom solutions and the technology to scale them.
  9. 9. 9Open Data Science Conference#ODSC Strategies and philosophies • Teams based on Civis’s product and consulting needs: • “Built around code” • Semi-annual departmental day-long off-sites to plan upcoming R&D initiatives • Academia-influenced: evidence-based approaches to finding and reporting best solutions • Software development-influenced: standups, code review • Favorite tools: Data Science R&D R&D Modeling Methodology Unstructured Data Engineering
  10. 10. 10Open Data Science Conference#ODSC Tools • Share and discuss data science news • Receive feedback from colleagues using our tools • Discuss implementation • Lower communication costs compared to email Data Science R&D
  11. 11. 11Open Data Science Conference#ODSC Tools • Prototype new workflows • Used like a log book to record and present results • Share preliminary results with members of other departments Data Science R&D
  12. 12. 12Open Data Science Conference#ODSC Tools • Department heads set milestones, check progress, and make project staffing decisions • Collaboratively plan development on new functionality or organizational processes (e.g. recruiting) Data Science R&D
  13. 13. 13Open Data Science Conference#ODSC Tools Strategies • Designate “tag team” on R&D as default R&D resources for client engagements • This is the Modeling Methodology team • Other R&D teams’ members may be staffed on engagements depending on expertise required • R&D team member always serves as the Consulted in the RACI model • Transparency about challenges is paramount R&D <-> ADS
  14. 14. 14Open Data Science Conference#ODSC 1. Assemble a project team of R&D data scientists and Applied Data Scientists 2. Work with Enroll America to refine requirements and come up with a plan of analysis, ultimately resulting in the design and execution of a phone survey on a sample of individuals, followed by building a predictive model for the rest of the country. 3. The Applied Data Science Manager has weekly calls with Enroll America and status meetings with the project team. 4. The project team delivers the predictions and analysis to Enroll America. R&D <-> ADS: A Case Study Mapping the Uninsured in America The project team completes a postmortem and determines these activities could be automated: model building
  15. 15. 15Open Data Science Conference#ODSC Tools Strategies • Designate teams at the interface to triage issues and plan new development: • R&D: “Engineering” team • Tech: “Modeling” team • Use module or project-specific chatrooms to get answers to ad-hoc questions quickly • Identify opportunities to form cross- functional teams, e.g.: • Developing apps using the Platform’s API • Knowledge sharing on best practices R&D <-> Tech
  16. 16. 16Open Data Science Conference#ODSC 1. After the postmortem for the Enroll America engagement, R&D begins prototyping automated modeling functionality and discussing its implementation with the Tech department. 2. R&D’s Engineering team finishes the prototype and works with Tech’s Modeling team to integrate it as a new feature in the Platform. 3. During integration, ad hoc discussions occur on GitHub and Hipchat to address usability questions, e.g. resource usage and input/output specifications. R&D <-> Tech: A Case Study Mapping the Uninsured in America The integration team successfully builds and integrates the Build Model module in the Platform.
  17. 17. Open Data Science Conference#ODSC Our approach to data science consulting and product development is enriched by valuable perspectives of our employees, who come from a wide array of backgrounds, making our project management strategies a hybrid of more conventional techniques. Conclusion

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