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Online Monthly Prize Draw: Packt Publishing - Free Tech Book

  • May 31, 2013 · 12:00 PM
  • Packt Publishing Promotion

***Please note this is an online monthly prize draw and no actual meeting will take place***

Data Science

Why Your Next HR Hire Should Be a Data Scientist @

The role of Data Scientist is new and important.  Big Data is seen as the key area for innovation, and the Data Scientist is a key role in putting Big Data to work.

So who are the Data Scientists, what do they do and does it include skills that we as developers may want to acquire?

The Data Scientist mines data for useful insights.  It's a role that is closely related to the Computer Scientist, the role often fulfilled by developers like us.

Last month we looked at the tools used by the Computer Scientist, this month we look at the skills and tools needed by the Data Scientist.


The Data Scientist Role

In his Book "Data Visualisation - a Successful Design Process" Andy Kirk identifies the "Eight Hats" of data visualisation design:

  • The Initiator - The leader who is seeks a solution.
  • The Data Scientist - The data miner, wearing a miners hat, discovering nuggets of insight buried deep within the numbers.
  • The Journalist - the story teller who refines the insight with narrative and context.
  • The Computer Scientist - The person who breaths life into the project with their breadth of software and programming literacy.
  • The Designer - With an eye for visual detail and a flair for innovation they work with the computer scientist to ensure harmony between form and function.
  • The Cognitive Scientist - Brings an understanding of visual perception, colour theories and human-computer interaction to inform the design process.
  • The Communicator - The negotiator and presenter who acts as the client-customer-designer gateway.
  • The Project Manager - The co-ordinator who picks up the unpopular duties and makes sure that the project is cohesive, on time and on message.

These are hats, and we will probably find ourselves wearing several of them over time. As you can see, Data Visualisation requires us to pull together a range of disciplines in order to achieve something meaningful.

Last month we focused on the skills of the Computer Scientist, looking at the skills needed to pull the data out of the repository and put it in front of the audience.

Miner Willy

This month we are looking at the skills of the Data Scientist. Here's Kirk's full description:

The data scientist is characterized as the data miner, wearing the miner's hat. They are responsible for sourcing, acquiring, handling, and preparing the data. This means demonstrating the technical skills to work with data sets large and small and of many different types. Once acquired, the data scientist is responsible for examining and preparing the data. In this proposed skill set model, it is the data scientist who will hold the key statistical and mathematical knowledge and they will apply this to undertake exploratory visual analysis to learn about the patterns, relationships, and descriptive properties of the data.

From Chapter 2 of Data Visualisation - A Successful Design Process


Last month we talked about data being the new soil.  The data scientist is a miner who digs down deep.  It is a pivotal roll in the design process. Kirk elaborates further:

If we don't have the data we want, or the data we do have doesn't tell us what we hoped it would, or the findings we unearth aren't as interesting as we wish them to be there is nothing we can (legitimately) do about it. That is an important factor to remember. No amount of 3D-snazzy-cool-fancy-design dust sprinkled on to a project can change that.

An incomplete, error strewn or just plain dull dataset will simply contaminate your visualization with the same properties. So, the primary duty for us now is to avoid this happening, remove all guessing and hoping, and just get on with the task of acquiring our data and immerse ourselves into it to learn about its condition, its characteristics, and the potential stories it contains.

From Chapter 3 of Data Visualisation - A Successful Design Process


This month we're going to look at some of the tools we can use as Data Scientists to immerse ourselves in the data. Tools that will help us to interact with our data, drill down into it's seams and discover what nuggets lie within.

See the blog post on the LJC Book Club for more details.

If you want to have a chance of winning one of this months books then please sign up on the Meetup page. At the end of May the lucky winner will get to choose a physical copy and the runner up can select an ebook.

To take part in the promotion all you have to do is RSVP to this event on Meetup and complete the questions.

Packt Publishing are a unique publishing company specializing in highly focused books on specific technologies and solutions - please visit their site to find out more about them:

Good luck!

Organised by RecWorks

***Please note this is an online monthly prize draw and no actual meeting will take place***


Join or login to comment.

  • Anji C.

    Congratulations to Dexter Lowe and Viktor who have both won a prize in May's competition!

    Thanks to all of those who took part.

    We'll be announcing June's competition asap...

    1 · June 4, 2013

    • Dexter L.

      Thanks for the book :)

      June 4, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thank you ;)

      June 4, 2013

  • Dinesh V


    May 31, 2013

  • Ged B.

    I've just realised that I set the date wrong. Sorry!

    May 15, 2013

    • Anji C.

      Well spotted Ged - I hadn't noticed!!

      May 15, 2013

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