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Women in Analytics Conference, April 2018

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A talk on the three pillars of data work: theory, medium/deliverable, and narrative.

Published in: Data & Analytics

Women in Analytics Conference, April 2018

  1. 1. CULTIVATING CREATIVITY IN DATA WORK HILARY PARKER
  2. 2. WOMEN IN ANALYTICS CONFERENCE ABOUT ME ▸ Data Scientist at Stitch Fix ▸ Formerly a Data Analyst at Etsy ▸ #rcatlady ▸ Co-host of “Not So Standard Deviations” podcast
  3. 3. DATA WORK
  4. 4. WHAT IS A DATA SCIENTIST?
  5. 5. TYPE A VS. TYPE B https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/data-science-from-b-michael-hochster/
  6. 6. TYPE A: ANALYSIS https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/data-science-from-b-michael-hochster/
  7. 7. BE AN ARBITER OF A SET OF FACTS AND PROVIDE CONTEXT INTO HOW TO UNDERSTAND THESE FACTS Jonathan Lisic (NSSD listener)
  8. 8. TYPE B: BUILDING https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/data-science-from-b-michael-hochster/
  9. 9. WHAT IS AN ANALYSIS?
  10. 10. TRUTH (WITH A CAPITAL T)
  11. 11. THEORY (HOW DO YOU ACCOUNT FOR UNCERTAINTY?)
  12. 12. DELIVERABLE (MEDIUM FOR THE MESSAGE)
  13. 13. NARRATIVE (HOW DO YOU CONVEY THE TRUTH?)
  14. 14. EMOTION
  15. 15. MUSIC THEORY
  16. 16. INSTRUMENT
  17. 17. COMPOSITION
  18. 18. :: EMOTION :: MUSIC THEORY :: INSTRUMENT :: COMPOSITION TRUTH THEORY DELIVERABLE NARRATIVE
  19. 19. LEARN THE THEORY
  20. 20. THE STUDY OF UNCERTAINTY
  21. 21. https://www.flickr.com/photos/lordsutch/5863912831
  22. 22. DISTRIBUTION OF THE MEAN ▸ Central Limit Theorem ▸ Mean / standard error is normally distributed
  23. 23. T-DISTRIBUTION ▸ Gosset empirically observed distributions that were not normal
  24. 24. THEORY ▸ Third person perspective / observational science
  25. 25. THEORY ▸ Third person perspective / observational science ▸ Proofs for properties of statistical tests and phenomena
  26. 26. THEORY ▸ Third person perspective / observational science ▸ Proofs for properties of statistical tests and phenomena ▸ Empirically explored
  27. 27. THEORY ▸ Third person perspective / observational science ▸ Proofs for properties of statistical tests and phenomena ▸ Empirically explored ▸ Provides specific statements that can be used to construct the analysis narrative.
  28. 28. MASTER THE INSTRUMENT
  29. 29. ACHIEVE FLUENCY
  30. 30. https://twitter.com/alice_data/status/748200882043396096
  31. 31. WE MAY FIND THAT THE TWO BOTTLENECKS ARE WHAT YOU WANT TO DO, AND HOW YOU TELL THE COMPUTER TO DO THAT. A LOT OF MY EXISTING WORK…HAS BEEN MORE ABOUT HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER TO EXPRESS WHAT YOU WANT Hadley Wickham TEXT https://statr.me/2013/09/a-conversation-with-hadley-wickham/
  32. 32. TEXT FLUENCY ▸ Fluency in statistical code ▸ Fluency in deliverable creation
  33. 33. ERRORS
  34. 34. BLAMELESS POSTMORTEM ▸ Rather than viewing errors as “human error” / person making a mistake, view them as the system failing a person with good intentions
  35. 35. BLAMELESS POSTMORTEM ▸ Rather than viewing errors as “human error” / person making a mistake, view them as the system failing a person with good intentions ▸ Adapt the system so that it does not fail a person with good intentions
  36. 36. COMMON ERRORS (THAT HURT FLUENCY) ▸ You re-run the analysis and get different results
  37. 37. COMMON ERRORS (THAT HURT FLUENCY) ▸ You re-run the analysis and get different results ▸ Your data becomes corrupted, but you don’t notice
  38. 38. COMMON ERRORS (THAT HURT FLUENCY) ▸ You re-run the analysis and get different results ▸ Your data becomes corrupted, but you don’t notice ▸ Requests and questions from your collaborators get lost
  39. 39. COMMON ERRORS (THAT HURT FLUENCY) ▸ You re-run the analysis and get different results ▸ Your data becomes corrupted, but you don’t notice ▸ Requests and questions from your collaborators get lost ▸ …
  40. 40. DELIVERABLE ▸ Also a third-person / observational science
  41. 41. DELIVERABLE ▸ Also a third-person / observational science ▸ Observed fluency (time-to-deliverable)
  42. 42. DELIVERABLE ▸ Also a third-person / observational science ▸ Observed fluency (time-to-deliverable) ▸ Observed error rate
  43. 43. Data science as a Science (DSaaS) @jtleek
  44. 44. COMPOSE THE NARRATIVE
  45. 45. CONVEY THE TRUTH
  46. 46. WHAT IS SUCCESS?
  47. 47. A-HA
  48. 48. THE A-HA MOMENT ▸ Observable only from the first-person perspective
  49. 49. THE A-HA MOMENT ▸ Observable only from the first-person perspective ▸ Third person observers can only rely on accounts
  50. 50. THE A-HA MOMENT ▸ Observable only from the first-person perspective ▸ Third person observers can only rely on accounts ▸ People are unreliable about communicating their experiences
  51. 51. SCIENTIFIC METHOD AS ARGUMENT
  52. 52. SCIENTIFIC METHOD AS ARGUMENT ▸ “Gold standard” for inferring the Truth
  53. 53. SCIENTIFIC METHOD AS ARGUMENT ▸ “Gold standard” for inferring the Truth ▸ Method of convincing that is effective for many (but not all)
  54. 54. IS THIS ENOUGH? (NO)
  55. 55. COMMON ADVICE ▸ “Think about your audience” ▸ “Build good partnerships” ▸ “Be a good communicator” ▸ …
  56. 56. EMPATHY
  57. 57. DESIGN
  58. 58. DESIGN ABILITY IS, IN FACT, ONE OF THE THREE FUNDAMENTAL DIMENSIONS OF HUMAN INTELLIGENCE. DESIGN, SCIENCE, AND ART FORM AN ‘AND’ NOT AN ‘OR’ RELATIONSHIP TO CREATE THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN COGNITIVE ABILITY.” Nigel Cross, Designerly Ways of Knowing
  59. 59. DESIGN METHODS ▸ Interviewing ▸ Creating user profiles ▸ Looking at other existing solutions ▸ Creating prototypes ▸ …
  60. 60. DATA DESIGN SPRINTS
  61. 61. DATA DESIGN SPRINTS ▸ How do we design a study to understand our customers better?
  62. 62. DATA DESIGN SPRINTS ▸ How do we design a study to understand our customers better? ▸ How do we design a plan for developing a new feature for our website?
  63. 63. DATA DESIGN SPRINTS ▸ How do we design a study to understand our customers better? ▸ How do we design a plan for developing a new feature for our website? ▸ How do we incorporate new data from users into multiple downstream use- cases?
  64. 64. ▸ Consensus on: ▸ Architecture of problem ▸ First wave of statistical approaches ▸ Next steps (and ownership of these steps)
  65. 65. SOME RESOURCES ▸ Designing Your Life ▸ Articulating Design Decisions ▸ Statistics as Principled Argument
  66. 66. TRUTH THEORY DELIVERABLE NARRATIVE
  67. 67. THANKS!

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