KDD2018 Applied Data Science Panel: Who is a Data Scientist?

Defining the Analytics Profession and Cutting Out the Hype and Confusion

Have you ever wondered who of all the people that claim being a “Data Scientist” is truly one? How can you tell if someone is really qualified? Can you do this quickly without extensive interviewing and due diligence? Imagine hundreds of thousands of companies wasting resources evaluating millions of “self-proclaimed data scientists” with no good result…

I will be moderating a panel on Wednesday August 22, 2018 at the KDD-2018 conference in London. The conference web page with the abstract of this panel can be found here. The main theme of this panel is to understand what we can do about the large number of people who, for a variey of reasons, may not be suitable for the Data Scientist role in an organization, yet they apply for the position and they believe they are qualified. Clearly causes of the problem include the fact that the role is highly desired — consistly ranking as the top job to hold in computer science by Glass Door surverys in 2016 and 2018. The position is haghly valued by organizations and hence highly compensated. It appears that from a quality of life and flexibility it ranks very high.

But what is the position of Data Scientist? What does it mean to be a Data Scientist? It seems like defining what the role means and what the job description is would go a long way in saving candidates’ time and effort applying to positions that organizations will have to expend their own time and resources to field these “unsuitable” applications.

The invited panelists will lead us through an exciting discussion to handle the thorny issues associated with this topic. Our distinguished panel represents a wide range of organizations: from large employers of Data Scientists to smaller employers of analysts and technology builders, to educational institutions, to product companies, services companies, and companies trying to put Data Science to good use in optimizing their processes…

Our panelists are:

  • Hamit Hamutcu, Managing Director, Analytics Center (USA & Turkey)
  • Kjersten Moody, Chief Data and Analytics Officer, State Farm Insurance (USA)
  • Narendra Mulani, Chief Analytics Officer – Head of Applied Intelligence, Accenture(USA)
  • Claudia Perlich, Senior Data Scientist, Two Sigma (USA)
  • Ravi Kumar, Senior Staff Research Scientist, Google (USA)
  • Jeannette Wing, Professor & Director of Data Science Institute, Columbia University(USA)
  • Dragomir Yankov, Principal Scientist Manager, Microsoft (USA)

Chair/Moderator: Usama M. Fayyad, CTO OODA Health, Inc. & Chairman Open Insights (USA)

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