Data science is one of the fastest-growing and highest-paid jobs in tech. According to Dr. Tara Sinclair, Indeed.com’s chief economist, the number of job postings for data scientist grew 57% in the first quarter of 2015 alone, and searches for “data scientist” grew 73.5% during the same period. Meanwhile, data scientist topped the charts for salary, number of job openings, and career growth opportunities in Glassdoor’s recent 25 Best Jobs in America report. The jury is in—data science is hot.
In the words of CEO Diane Hessan,
Tomorrow, we’re launching a new Introduction to Data Science and Analytics course in Boston that is going to change this. In partnership with the sports-loving data scientists at Stattleship, the class is designed to give participants an edge in their current roles or set them up to explore a new career path. Through an accessible and engaging, sports-themed curriculum, participants will learn the fundamentals of R and Tableau.
In anticipation of the first day of classes, I caught up with Chief Data Officer at Stattleship, Tanya Cashorali. Tanya and her team worked with us to develop the course materials, and will serve as instructors over the next eight-weeks. Below, Tanya shares her insights on the emerging field of data science, who should pursue data science, and what the introductory course will entail:
A: Stattleship is a sports content business that helps brands connect with sports fans through social media. We recognize that the next generation of sports fans are obsessed with sports stats and data. This is not just a fantasy sports thing, it’s a social media thing. Before, during, and after the game fans are on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram sharing their pain and joy. We see this as an awesome opportunity for brands to engage fans in new ways, but also a huge education opportunity too. We’re also really excited to help people who love sports data learn new data skills and tell stories using data.
Education is a deeply rooted theme for our team at Stattleship, as I’m sure is obvious from us launching this course with the Startup Institute. We want to get people more excited about data and math—visualizing data and telling stories with data. This is a lot easier to do that when the content matter is something people can relate to. For many people, sports data is a lot more exciting than supply chain data or finance data.
Sports data is really inaccessible to most people. There are a few major providers such as STATS Inc., Sports Direct, and Sports Radar. This data is really expensive, and it’s not easy to use.
At Stattleship, we’re making this data readily accessible and easier to consume. We’re trying to unlock this data that’s been locked up for so long, and also add an additional layer of really cool metrics and new calculations for things. We want to make it a lot more valuable for everyone.
A: An important goal we have at Stattleship is to build an amazing community. It’s really important to us that the data remains available and affordable for people who are trying to advance their careers.
Data is critical to being at the forefront of any industry right now. If you can use data skills to tell an interesting story, you’re going to provide much more value to a company than the people who are lagging behind and not keeping up with the latest skills and technologies.
A: I always have. I’ve played basketball, baseball, soccer, field hockey. I shot my first basket on a regulation hoop when I was five. I played sports all through high school and I’ve always been a Boston sports fan. I’m also obsessed with Tom Brady, so you’ll likely see lots of examples in the course relating to his stat lines.
A: That’s a great question, because you’ll find that definitions vary. There are few gold standards of what data science is. It is at the intersection of a few different skill sets.
I’ll start with big data, which most data scientists aren’t even touching.;