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Learning about Data Science?


This is the end of a beautiful summer, and also one of the warmer recorded in France. I’m continuing my journey in the product management world and today I’m living in the product marketing one too.
I will blog about this later.

During this first half of this year, I read several articles on big data and started to understand how important the data science discipline is. Being able to define a direction/goal to search, collecting the proper data, then using a collection of techniques to extract something others can’t see - it sounds like magic.

Also, when I listened to the Udacity Linear Disgression podcast episode “Hunting the Higgs”, I understood people with these skills can be better at solving a problem than the domain experts themselves. Katie Malone explained that in a competition to solve a particle physics problem, the best results came from machine learning people.

Then I read the article about Zenefit on the vision mobile website:
“Zenefits is an insurance company that offers free SaaS services to acquire customers. SaaS requires low-cost low-touch sales and so Zenefits profits on the delta between the customer acquisition cost (CACs) in the HR and SaaS industries. Of course, Zenefits creates a captive audience which it then can resell into more insurance services and higher profits.”

This is absolutely disruptive from a business point of view and from a privacy point of view, you can understand the problems that will emerge. Companies may provide free services only to gather data to be used for a profitable business.

Based on these considerations, I decided at least to get a better understanding of the domain. So, I used a common scenario of those who want to learn quickly: I subscribed to the best tweeters in this domain and after two weeks, I understood how wide this domain was.
So the only solution was to find a network of specialists and passionate people.
After a conversation with Franck V. on twitter, we decided to launch a group in Lyon. How surprised we were, when 30 people came for the for the first meetup.
So, I don’t know how much energy I will be able to put into learning this domain. But at least, I know I will find this new community stimulating.



 If you are in the Lyon area, and want to learn this discipline or to share your experience with other experts, please join us. The group is named Lyon Data Science.
You’ll find our meetup there and our central working document here.



Sources:
Vision Mobile: To understand Internet of Things you need to understand Zenefits
Udacity: Podcasts linear-digressions
Bigdata-madesimple: 33 most noted Data Scientists on Twitter

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