I started a little project, well actually I’m going to start it by committing to it here with this post. Recently I started thinking about the economy and the direction it is or isn’t going. Further I realized that there is not really such a thing as job security. With that in mind I started thinking if I was let go from my job or if I decided it was time to move on what would I do? I’ve toyed around with various ideas for years including coaching, grant writing and teaching to name a few..but this idea is a new one.
I was going through my Evernote account recently and I noticed that I had noted various references to data science articles not sure why I started, probably as a reference for the career exploration class I was teaching. So I decided to click on one just to check it out. It took me to Data Science Central, which I thought “nice site” but there’s a lot of stuff on here where do I start and why? The article I clicked on was a info-graphic about Data Science 2015: What’s hot and What’s Not it was kind of a what’s in and where they are heading in the next few years. I thought interesting I’ll have to come back later and check out more.
So last week I was working on a report for one of our grants and as I was crunching numbers (by hand) I was actually enjoying myself collecting data from various reports and cross checking them with others reports. I found myself asking various questions that kept taking me further in my research. Some questions I just couldn’t answer, we just didn’t have the data because we hadn’t collected it. After finishing the report I felt good about what I had done with limited information and thought to myself how we could begin collecting the proper information.
Now back to Data Central. That night I put two and two together and realized that what I was doing on a limited scale is what data science does on a bigger one. So I took a second look. That led me to how to become a data scientist for free …my kind of post! The author lists out (I like lists) a bunch of places where I can get information about data science and sharpen my skills for free (and I like free too). So I’ve bookmarked the list and and I’m going to use it to create my own timeline and checklist for completing his suggestions. He suggests it will take between 3-12 months to complete, I’m aiming for 6-8. If after those handful of months I still haven’t completed it I haven’t really lost anything, I will have at least a new set of basic skills and some understanding of a field that is growing in popularity and usefulness.
So I’m on my way. I bought some statistic books at a thrift store (see the pic above) and I’m using the hashtag and category #reinventproject to post updates. I’m not really reinventing myself just adding a new skill set so it’s probably not the best description but that’s what I started with so I’ll stick with it for now. Who knows maybe in the process I will reinvent myself or at least have fun trying.