Data are becoming the new raw material of business
The Economist

Real data scientists have a rare hybrid of skill sets: Here’s what to look for

On July 18th, 2015, an article Michael wrote was featured on VentureBeat. The full text can be found below and where it was originally posted here

Over the course of the last year I’ve spoken with hundreds of employers interested in hiring data scientists – in particular, data scientists with advanced educational degrees. Many employers and hiring managers have heard that big data is the “hot new thing.” But as with all “hot new things,” there’s as much misinformation about data science as there are facts. Here are three misconceptions about big data and data science that I often encounter:


1. Big data is statistics and business intelligence with more data. There’s nothing new here.

This is a view often held by those with limited or no software development experience and it is plainly false. The perfect analogy for this is ice. Ice is just cold water right? There’s nothing new here. However, cooling down water doesn’t just change a quantitative property (temperature) but drastically changes its qualitative properties (transforming a liquid to a solid). Continue reading

Featured in Venture Beat: “It’s free, but harder to get into than Harvard”

For those of you who haven’t seen, we got written about in Venture Beat, who note that we’re more competitive to get into than Harvard: 

Finding a great data scientist can feel like searching for Princess Peach. She’s always in another castle.

There are plenty of programmers who can match a startup’s pace. There are plenty of PhDs with solid research backgrounds. But there’s a serious dearth of job applicants equipped with both skill sets.

Foursquare veteran Michael Li is working on a solution: a hacker bootcamp for data scientists. It’s called The Data Incubator.

The New York startup intends to take the brightest science and engineering PhDs and propel them into data science careers. The inaugural program is scheduled to begin this June.

It’s not designed for folks starting at square one. Applicants should already have some programming experience as well as strong qualitative and communication skills. Li plans to further familiarize his fellows with the tools and technology stack employers actually care about.

That’s an attractive proposal for PhDs uncertain about their next move. But it gets better.  Continue reading