Data are becoming the new raw material of business
The Economist

Five Tips for Future-proofing Your Business with Data Science

entrepreneur-593352_960_720We all want to be future-proof: not just prepared for unforeseen developments but positioned well to take advantage of them. Having a flexible, adaptable, and scalable technology stack is a great way to get to achieve that goal when it comes to being able to leverage data science effectively. Here are five ideas I personally think it’s crucial to keep in mind when building out your own functionality:

1. Your pipeline is only as good as its weakest link.

It’s great that your predictive modelers have come up with a thousand new features to incorporate, but have you asked your data engineers how that will affect the performance of backend queries? What about your data collection and ingestion flow? Maybe your team is frothing at the mouth for an upgrade to Spark Streaming to run their clustering algorithms in real time, but your frontend will lose responsiveness if you try to display the results as fast as they come in. The key here is not to get sucked into the hype of “scaling up” without fully recognizing the implications across your entire organization and what new demands will be placed on all those moving parts. Continue reading

The Two Questions You Need to Ask Your Data Analysts

An article written by Data Incubator founder Michael Li was featured on Harvard Business Review today. It can be found where it was originally posted here.


question-mark-1495858_960_720Data scientists are in high demand. McKinsey predicts a need for 1.5 million new data professionals in the U.S. alone. As these droves of analysts join organizations, it’s critical that they know how to talk with managers about their findings. But the burden for good communication doesn’t just fall on them. For their part, managers – the consumers of the analysis – need to ask the right questions to be sure they understand the key concepts behind data analysis.

At The Data Incubator, we work with hundreds of companies looking to train their workforce in modern data analytics or hire data scientists from our selective PhD fellowship. Our clients often ask us how they should engage with their newly trained or newly hired data professionals. Here are two critical questions we suggest they ask when trying to understand the results of any data analysis. Continue reading

4 Things a Data Scientist Can Do for Entrepreneurs

This week, Data Incubator Founder Michael Li was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine. His article, 4 Things a Data Scientist Can Do for Entrepreneurs, which can be found below, was originally posted here on March 27, 2015.

entrepreneur-593358__340These days, there is no shortage of data — even the earliest stage entrepreneurs are finding themselves sitting on mounds and mounds of it — and it often leads to the same question: How can I use this to help me grow?

At The Data Incubator, we train over 100 data scientists to enter industry every year. The fellows have joined with some of the largest corporations in America, including Capital One, AIG, and eBay, as well as budding startups such as Betterment and YouNow. They have joined larger veteran teams, and have been brought on to build data and analytics at their companies.

Virtually every type of company can benefit from a skilled data scientist. Here are four major things they should be doing: Continue reading