New Year’s Resolutions for Data Scientists

As a group, Data Scientists seem like the type of a people that would seize any opportunity to improve. So in the spirit of fun, the following are 4 “tongue in cheek” resolutions for this year.

1) Gain More Weight
Data Scientists are getting a lot of attention these days, which is great. We need to continue to gain our collective weight as people who help other people make sense of the ever-growing mass of data, translating what the numbers mean into something actionable for non-Data Scientists.

Data scientist

2) Keep Smoking!
Yes, really, keep smoking! The concept of the Data Scientist is smoking hot, and in a self-promotion kind of way, it makes sense to keep this momentum going. So this means doing things like being a good ambassador of Data Scientists as a group, and explaining to people (i.e. your mother, your neighbor, the person on the street) what the heck we do.

3) Learn a New Language … Spanish, SQL, R …
Data Scientists are human too, and so it’s not uncommon for a Data Scientist to get really comfortable with a set of analytical tools – almost too comfortable. This could be the year to broaden your horizons and try something new. Different technologies often have completely different ways of approaching the same problem, and some are better than others depending on the task at hand. Knowing the options can save a lot of time in the long run. The article Top Holiday Gifts for Data Scientists has some good references for books and other resources.

4) Learn How to Make Friends and Influence People
Data Scientists can suffer from being too analytical, too technical and just too darn scientific. The greatest insights in the world don’t matter if they can’t be communicated to people in way that they can be understood. Data Scientists often can do with a little help in this area. These are two books that I’d recommend for Data Scientists that are looking to improve their game at presenting:

And let’s not forget the “making friends” part. The Data Scientist community is a growing one, and as good friends there’s a lot we can learn from each other.

I’m sure there are more resolutions in store for Data Scientists – please share your suggestions and thoughts.


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