At iSchool, our 2021 Data Science Day featured presentations and panel discussions from full-time faculty, part-time adjuncts, and graduate students.

I had the pleasure of watching three talks, which were:

  1. Jombart, Associate Professor at Imperial College London, the WHO analytics team who talked about building predictive models for infection diseases such as COVID
  2. iSchool Associate Professor Jeffery Hemsley who talked about visual analytics, and
  3. An interesting session on Applied Deep Learning with iSchool Assistant Professor Daniel Acuna.

The focus of all three of these talks was to help me understand data science as well as how to apply data science across a range of different situations.

In fact, I did gain valuable insights into what it means to be a data scientist within an organization, as well gaining a better understanding of the role of data science in shaping the future landscape of business and society.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the sessions that I’d like to share with you:

  1. A data scientist’s primary responsibility is to enhance business value and drive innovation by implementing new data-driven solutions. As organizations become increasingly data driven, data science skills will be a key competitive advantage. To be successful in this role, a data scientist needs to be able to work closely with various stakeholders in the organization from management to end users. One of the key challenges that data scientists face is the increasingly rapid rate of technological changes in the marketplace, which means that their skills need to be constantly updated.
  2. Successful data science projects depend on close collaboration between the data science team and the rest of the organization. Having a shared understanding of business goals and challenges faced by the organization helps build trust among the various parties involved in the project and helps to streamline the process. Data Scientist also need to ensure that they keep the organizational needs and priorities in mind when designing and implementing their solutions. If the needs of the organization are not considered during the project design phase, it can result in a solution that does not work for the organization or a solution that needs to be modified to accommodate the organizational needs once it is implemented.
  3. Having a culture of collaboration within an organization is important to foster innovation and drive growth. However, this can be difficult to establish if there are individuals within the organization who are resistant to change and reluctant to adopt new technologies. To overcome these challenges, it is important to encourage openness and transparency among team members and to foster an environment that allows everyone to contribute their unique insights and ideas.
  4. With the number of emerging technologies on the rise, it is important for companies to stay up to date on the latest innovations and developments in the market. By adopting new technologies and incorporating them into business processes, companies can stay competitive and attract new customers.
  5. Companies should implement innovative strategies with data and technology in order to improve their business efficiency and hence, reduce costs. Investing in new systems and data (or more generally, technology) can be challenging and difficult for an organization. However, it is important, since in the long run since it can boost productivity, drive innovation, and enhance customer satisfaction.