February Sabbatical Report: My Year as a Data Scientist

This is a continuation of the series of my sabbatical reports. Here are the previous entries.

The skills needed to be a data scientist. I have two main things happening. The first is that I am still trying to automate the results of my first project. There are still silly issues. I can’t do the equivalent of “pip install packagename,” which should take less than a minute to install a new package. Instead, I have been emailing spreadsheets. IT is working on it, though.

I finished cleaning and validating the data for my second project. So I was able to do in two months what took me five months for the first project. I am guessing that roughly 30% of this was reusing code, and 70% was being more familiar with data science generally and the bank’s data in particular. I am about to start working on doing some visualization, and I get to build a couple of models after that—we are likely to try to model three different variables this time, but that shouldn’t take as much time.

How academia and business are different. One of my colleagues at the bank is about to leave for another job. In academia, professors either are expected to leave (if they are not tenure-track) or generally don’t leave (if they are tenured). So there are very few surprises when someone leaves. So it is slightly jarring to hear that a professor-analogue at the bank suddenly decided to leave (I am thrilled for him, but it isn’t the sort of thing that happens often in academia).

That said, there have been a couple of tenured professors at my school who just announced they are leaving, so maybe this is not so different after all.

How will this experience influence my teaching?  No report.

My feelings about being in industry.  After struggling with missing academia in December, I am in the groove now. In fact, I am starting to preemptively feel a bit sad about leave, since it is only three months away. But I am still looking forward to teaching again.

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3 Responses to “February Sabbatical Report: My Year as a Data Scientist”

  1. March Sabbatical Report: My Year as a Data Scientist | Solvable by Radicals Says:

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  2. April Sabbatical Report: My Year as a Data Scientist | Solvable by Radicals Says:

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