Archive for January, 2015



Data science is emerging as a hot new profession and academic discipline.


Yes, because data science has the potential to revolutionize the way business, government, science, research, and healthcare are carried out. Data science is emerging as a hot new profession and academic discipline. In my opinion, 2015 will see data science becoming a mainstream career choice. Data science has come a long way – but the evolution is only beginning.

Focus of this post is not to convince cynics. In fact, I’m not interested in them at all. I don’t want to waste a second of my time on cynics, wimps, and haters. Their cynicism leads to mediocrity. Umair Haque, one of my favorite thinker and writer, eloquently said that, “there’s nothing more poisonous to self-belief than people who tell you what you cannot do.”

Today, I want to share couple of interesting updates that highlight the significance of data literacy and why data literacy is a fundamental skill for all professionals. In massively connected digital world, it is imperative that the workforce of today and tomorrow is able to understand what data is available and use scientific methods to analyze and interpret it.

Hal Varian, Google’s chief economist in his 2009 interview for The McKinsey Quarterly said that;

“The ability to take data – to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it’s going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades, not only at the professional level but even at the educational level for elementary school kids, for high school kids, for college kids. Because now we really do have essentially free and ubiquitous data. So the complimentary scarce factor is the ability to understand that data and extract value from it. I think statisticians are part of it, but it’s just a part. You also want to be able to visualize the data, communicate the data, and utilize it effectively. But I do think those skills – of being able to access, understand, and communicate the insights you get from data analysis – are going to be extremely important. Managers need to be able to access and understand the data themselves.” – Hal Varian

Wait a minute. Is this a pitch for Persontyle? I think so…


Persontyle is a social enterprise dedicated to data literacy. Born from the idea of creating a platform for the people, by the people to share passion, knowledge, theory and practices of analyzing data scientifically. Most people are focused on making machines smarter. We are focused on making people smarter. Through its various educational programs offered by the School of Data Science, you can learn the practical skills required to be a player in this fascinating field and get to have a good time at the same time. But you don’t have to start from the very basics, if you are already knowledgeable about some things. The courses, workshops, and bootcamps it offers cover various levels and are all self-contained. Also, all the learning experiences have a practical aspect to them, making sure that you get some hands-on experience while doing them. The best part is that they are all very short, so it is easy to fit them in your schedule. If you are unable to attend during the days that they are held, there are also customized solutions, so that you can get some training at a time and place of your convenience. This option is particularly good for you if you have a data science project team with which you work and everyone needs to get the training.

Data science is scorching hot right now, in headlines, board rooms, universities and philanthropy. As the world is becoming more and more aware of the benefits of data science, more and more organizations are looking for ways to harness the value that lingers in the big data they have access to. It has become clear that the latter is not just a buzz word; it is a whole new world of potential, waiting to be explored.

Develop the most demanded skill for the 21st century.

We believe data literacy will be the fundamental skill for the 21st century. In 2015, we are launching some exciting new data science and big data engineering learning opportunities, also we are collaborating with our partners to offer data science training programs in US and Middle East.


Data science is all about building teams and culture.

It is crazy to think that a doc­tor must know everything, and it is just as crazy to think a data scientist should be an expert in machine learning, statistics, hacking, programming, application development, production deployment, etc, etc. Data science is a team sport. All playing have a role to play, everyone contributes. Somebody has to bring the data together, somebody has to build the data workflows and do the data engineering work, someone needs to apply the machine learning models, someone needs to be there to challenge the results and so on and so forth. Important thing to note here is that all involved in the data science project lifecycle should be aware of the limitations of their expertise and knowledge, and willing to call in for help when required.

“People make a mistake by forgetting that Data Science is a team sport. People might point to people like me or (Jeff) Hammerbacher or Hilary (Mason) or Peter Norvig and they say, oh look at these people! It’s false, it’s totally false, there’s not one single data scientist that does it all on their own.” – DJ Patil

As data science evolves to become a business necessity, the importance of assembling a strong and innovative data teams grows. Assembling a group of talented people with diverse skills is the best way to meet your data science needs. Engage Persontyle data science and data engineering experts to conduct a free Data Science Talent Strategy Workshop for your organization. Book now!

Beyond data science: Advancing data literacy.

First piece I want to share is by Leslie Bradshaw. Excellent post to understand the concept of data literacy and why contextualizing, storytelling, and visualizing are equally important tools to get better, smarter, faster, and more reliably predictive decision making.

“From public policy to sports to finance to health to economics to businesses to citizens to elected officials to education… so many aspects of our individual lives can and will be made better through including more disciplines in the science of data as it evolves to become a literacy of data.” – Leslie Bradshaw

Read the full post here

The 25 hottest skills that got people hired in 2014.

Second post I’m sharing is by of LinkedIn listing the 25 hottest skills that got people hired in 2014. To determine which skills were most in demand in 2014, LinkedIn data specialists analyzed more than 330 million profiles. You can notice that 5 of the skills mentioned are directly related to data literacy and data science.


Read the full post here

Become data literate in 2015.

Idea that data scientists are as mythical as unicorns is simply false. Only wannabes, protectors of mediocrity and industrial age pundits call data scientist a unicorn. You should not believe the fantasy that data scientists are mythical, and should definitely not neglect developing data science capabilities.

I’ve said it before, saying it again that we all can learn and apply data science to make lot of mistakes. In a complex world, the process of trial and error is essential. We need to promote the culture of experimentation. Understand and embrace the concept of trial and error.

Data Science = Ask questions and challenge the status quo to deliver meaningful value. To me, essence of data science is to break the rules and challenge status quo by building new models that make the existing models obsolete. Because greatness doesn’t stem from merely counting what can be counted.

“There are two rules I’ve always tried to live by: turn left, if you’re supposed to turn right; go through any door that you’re not supposed to enter. It’s the only way to fight your way through to any kind of authentic feeling in a world beset by fakery.” – Malcolm McLaren

Happy 2015! A new year. A new beginning. Learn something new. Become data literate in 2015. Break the rules. And never give up on your dreams!

All the best!

Ali Syed

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