Monday, August 22, 2016

There are data scientists and data scientists

Ann Irvine, principal data scientist at Red Owl, writing in Government Executive, says the FBI is hiring its first senior-level data scientist. This might be more challenging than they think, she says.

Data scientists have wildly different backgrounds, skill sets, and responsibililties.

Even just at Red Owl, one set of data scientists prevents insider threats such as rogue trading. A second group works with customers. And a third contributes to the core software.

All have  knowledge of math, machine learning, and expertise in cybersecurity, good communication skills and experience in software development.

This is why the FBI or any entity needs to be clear in its requirements.

Data sceintists often need to explain what is possible with data science and what isn't. Could a certain type of data answer a certain question. How much would be needed? What types of algorithms would be needed? How will these be evaluated? What kind of mistakes could the algorithms make? Has this problem been solved before--and how?

As a first timer, the FBI data scientist will have to be incorporated into the culture.  Will he or she get easy access?

And the new data scientist cannot be overloaded--there must be an onboarding process.

I was surprised to learn the FBI does not have a senior data scientist, what with all the data they handle.

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