Panel Sessions on Future of Data Science and Building An Analytics Team

On a whim, I altered my session course away from Analytics Process and found myself sitting in two separate panel sessions in the INFORMS Special Session. The first was on the Future of Data Science and the second was on Growing an Analytics team. Both were fast paced and full of insightful discussions, making it difficult to digest and document the numerous take-aways from these sessions. However, both were video recorded, so I highly recommend watching them when they are made available. For me, these panels resonated on the topics of: the gap between R&D and production, even in super successful companies; the responsibility to manage expectations (both outside and inside technical communities) of hyped Artificial Intelligence; the need to remove organizational barriers that prevent growth; the importance of internal training to accomplish these goals (this reminded me of the adage: “CFO: What happens if we train people and they leave?” CEO: What happens if we don’t and they stay?”); the emerging conflict between technical skills based opportunities and the growing need for communication based skills; the importance of having strong mathematical skills as a knowledge base; the idea that where you place your analytics department within the greater organization will drive what analytics they create.