Stephen E. Arnold: Human Creativity Key for Big Data Design & Exploitation

IO Impotency, IO Sense-Making
Stephen E. Arnold
Stephen E. Arnold

Creativity is Key for Data Scientists

Hmm, does this defy the easy-big-data narrative? VentureBeat warns us, “The Data Is Not Enough: Creative Data Scientists Make the Difference.” Not only is there a shortage of data scientists in general, we are now told firms would do well to find data scientists graced with creativity. How pesky.   Writer Jordan Novet refers to a recent panel given at VentureBeat’s 2013 DataBeat/Data Science Summit headed by LinkedIn‘s former lead data scientist, Peter Skomoroch.   The article relates:

“Skomoroch envisions a world not too far in the future where balance sheets will track companies’ data assets. But he and other panelists don’t just want more data to analyze. They discussed the importance of creativity as a key trait to look for in people who work with the data. That means relying on proven algorithms might not always cut it.”

Novet shares with us the perspectives of a few panel members. For example, former Kaggle president Jeremy Howard, apparently the creative type himself, described his process:

“Howard likes to just dive into data and start getting hunches about it, without knowing about the industry the data comes from and other context that others would find valuable. ‘That way, there’s no blinkers,’ he said. It might come across as a contrarian view, but Howard thinks his approach is one reason he did well in Kaggle competitions.”

Other panelists quoted in the article include Jawbone‘s VP of data, Monica Rogati and Pete Warden, CEO of Jetpac. See the story for their thoughts.

Cynthia Murrell, January 06, 2014

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