Maybe you aren’t a Ph.D in Statistics. Maybe you never stepped foot into a Comp Sci department. If you have an itch to dive into data science these things matter far less than they ever have. What does matter is your drive to make a meaningful difference wherever you are. Data Science becomes more and more democratized every day. It’s for everyone. Here are some skills you can work on to make your data science project come to fruition.
Get Into Raw Data Bushwhacking
Admittedly the scenery is much worse, but every data science project begins with some Lewis and Clark work. We see this again and again. You have to find the raw data. There is no road to getting there. But moreover, you will run into unforeseen obstacles! No idea what we are talking about? Go ahead. Pick an application and ask your IT team for some raw data like log data. Or, tell someone that you would like to digitally track something in their department for a month. The pushback is surprisingly vigorous to say the least. Raw Data Bushwhacking the wrong way is the equivalent of going shoeless in the wilderness. Forget about going far. The point here is that getting raw data is an indispensable skill set.
Be a Data Store Data Maven
The good news is that there are so many options. AWS Redshift, Azure SQL, Snowflake, MSSQL, Google Big Query. The list goes on and on and on. The skillset here is knowing the right tool for the job. With Snowflake and Big Query it’s really easy to just jam data into them. But that comes at a cost. Knowing this cost and knowing when to use the right tool has never been more important. What’s more, is that this landscape is changing very rapidly. For example, 5 years ago Cassandra was all the rage. Now? Well, there are far better options. It just depends on what challenge is at hand. Every one of the following has good resources for self teaching. Check them out.
- Big Query
- SQL Sisters (Oracle, MSSQL, PostGres, MySQL)
Expand Your ETL Brains
Integration and ETL is a core skill set of data science. Do you ever find yourself in Excel hell doing one vlookup after another? Well vlookup is an ETL primitive. The good news is that integration and ETL used to require you to know how to code. Applications like K3 help users do what used to only be done in python. Don’t get us wrong. We love python. But do you really want to spend your days maintaining mappings in python? Gross. But good ETL, whether it’s no code or high code requires something else: good brains. It’s the ability to logic your way to the end state.
Learn About K3 here
Be a DIY B.I. Connoisseur
Business intelligence tools have grown leaps and bounds in the past 5 years. We cringe when we hear about some of the reporting things people still do. Did you know many companies jam data into Salesforce just to get a simple report on it? Nope. Not kidding. Cube reporting used to be a thing. But it took whole IT teams just to keep running. At the end of the day there are reporting dashboards that are easy to learn and produce some stunning results. Maybe you have a favorite. That’s great but these are the ones that we think every data analyst should know about. There are tremendous resources for upskilling yourself. Check them out.
- Microsoft B.I.
- Tibco Spotfire
The essence of great business intelligence is letting the data take you to your destination. The antithesis of this is deciding the outcome you want and then finding data to back it up. Sometimes it’s an amazing journey just seeing where the data will take you. Becoming a student of how organizations and individuals extract value from data and using data as a focal point to discussions is a game changer. It’s not just whether to use a bubble chart or a stacked bar. Fundamentally, understanding the consumers needs and working to provide the best representation of the data for those consumers is paramount. If the world is choked with false facts, the worst case outcome is making decisions based on them. Put yourself in a position of authority to call them out. Check this book out.
Calling Bullshit: the art of skepticism in a data driven world
Tired of Having Your Data Analysis Hampered by “Special Skill Requirements?”
See why your peers trust K3 to get data done…really. Here is a quick on-demand video and a great way to reach out if you’d like to learn more.