Analyzing the Analyzers

An Introspective Survey of Data Scientists and Their Work

Analyzing the Analyzers

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Despite the excitement around "data science," "big data," and "analytics," the ambiguity of these terms has led to poor communication between data scientists and organizations seeking their help. In this report, authors Harlan Harris, Sean Murphy, and Marck Vaisman examine their survey of several hundred data science practitioners in mid-2012, when they asked respondents how they viewed their skills, careers, and experiences with prospective employers. The results are striking.

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Harlan Harris

Harlan D. Harris is a Senior Data Scientist at Kaplan Test Prep, the Co-Founder and Co-Organizer of the Data Science DC Meetup, and the Co-Founder and President of Data Community DC, Inc. He has a PhD in Computer Science (Machine Learning) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and worked as a researcher in several Psychology departments before turning to industry.

Sean Murphy

Sean Patrick Murphy, with degrees in mathematics, electrical engineering, and biomedical engineering and an MBA from Oxford University, has served as a senior scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory for the past ten years. Previously, he served as the Chief Data Scientist at WiserTogether, a series A funded health care analytics firm, and the Director of Research at Manhattan Prep, a boutique graduate educational company. He was also the co-founder and CEO of a big data-focused startup: CloudSpree.

Marck Vaisman

Marck Vaisman is a data scientist, consultant, entrepreneur, master munger and hacker. Marck is the Principal Data Scientist at DataXtract, LLC helping clients from start-ups to Fortune 500 firms with all kinds of data science projects. His professional experience spans the management consulting, telecommunications, Internet, and technology industries. He is the co-founder of Data Community DC, Inc. and co-organizer of the Data Science DC and R Users DC meetup groups. He has an MBA from Vanderbilt University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University. Marck is also a contributing author of The Bad Data Handbook.