At Booz Allen, we’re committed to making the power of analytics tangible and accessible for a new generation of citizen data scientists. In support of that mission, our Sailfish team headed to Grapevine, Texas, from March 6-9 to attend the Gartner Data & Analytics Summit.
In the data science emerging technologies arena, few gatherings generate as much as excitement and attention as Gartner, which hosted 3,000 attendees with backgrounds in analytics, machine learning, data technologies, and data management. And while last year’s Gartner Data Analytics conference was themed on the citizen data scientist and the democratization of data, this year focused more on data science platforms, like Sailfish, that enable and empower those individuals.
As keynote speaker Margaret Heffernan noted, non-analytical factors—such as trust, open communication, and the ability to share insights—are critical for organizations to derive the most value from their data. Socializing data science models and results helps to build a data-driven culture of openness and collaboration across the enterprise. In another presentation, the leader of data analytics at Ford Motor Company validated the same point when he described how his internal analytics team acts in a consulting role to the different divisions of the corporation in order to build trust, value, cross-organization visibility, understanding of data science, and impactful analytic solutions.
At the Booz Allen exhibit booth, the Sailfish team demonstrated the platform’s similar ability to open up lines of communication among otherwise disparate groups. Through its unique social curation capabilities, Sailfish allows users to collect, organize, and catalog data, and then easily share data sets with a network of followers for feedback and refinement.
Data sharing and curation also complement Sailfish’s discovery capabilities, through which users can perform advanced analytics by querying the data sets in plain English. For example, visitors to the booth learned which stoplight in Washington, DC, generates the most traffic infraction tickets, which public universities deliver the best bargain and quality, and whether there’s correlation between SAT scores and retention at universities. (Hint: There is, and it’s strong.)
#Data4Good Twitter Chat
To amplify the conference conversation, on March 8, Sailfish Product Manager Seth Clark (@caradoxical) and Booz Allen Principal Data Scientist Kirk Borne (@KirkDBorne) also hosted a Twitter chat focused on the unique capability of data science platforms to enable #Data4Good activities, both internally and external to organizations.
Queried on how to spread the benefits of data science to as many people as possible, participants in the Twitter chat noted that data science competitions (such as the Data Science Bowl) enable data scientists to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems. They also discussed how easing access to data through platforms like Sailfish can empower exploration, discovery, and innovation.
On the question of how to broaden the dissemination of data science results, participant @Prashant_1722 suggested that public-private partnerships can be useful for vetting and using analytics results for societal good, while @knowlengr added that mobile-optimized access can help bridge the digital divide between those with and without computer access.
Among other topics, participants also discussed where data scientists can find resources to guide them in the ethical use and applications of artificial intelligence (see the Asilomar AI principles), as well as how leaders in an organization can ensure that data science benefits everyone equally (in the end, it is the responsibility of all of us who are involved). Search for #DataSciChat on Twitter to see the entire conversation.
And even if you didn’t attend the Gartner Summit, you can still learn how to tame your data and how to derive significant insights and value from it. Visit BoozAllen.com/Sailfish to get started today.
As the third Data Science Bowl focuses on early detection of lung cancer using patient scans, researchers at Stanford University recently developed an algorithm to detect skin cancer from photographs. This algorithm, which matches the performance of dermatologists when diagnosing skin lesions, could have a significant effect on remote diagnosis, especially given the team’s goal of adapting it for use on a smartphone. Read more on Stanford News about how a “Deep learning algorithm does as well as dermatologists in identifying skin cancer.”