Monday’s ‘Competing with CAP Panel‘ and Tuesday’s ‘Ethical Considerations in Data Science and Business Analytics’
I obtained my CAP accreditation right before the 2017 Analytics conference in Las Vegas. As I discussed in my very first INFORMS blog, Making Lifelong Connections, I was proud to be amongst professionals committed to not just advancing analytics, but making ethics a fundamental consideration. So, a year later I was happy to see two sessions on the conference agenda devoted to these topics.
The panel was moderated by Mr. Zahir Balaporia and consisted of Mr. Alan Briggs, Ms. Polly Mitchell-Guthrie, Ms. Sally Worrell, and Mr. Nick Wzientek. If Mr. Balaporia had any questions prepared for the panel, the audience will never know since those in attendance had a number of questions for the panel. The panel responses reflected their broad and differing experience, but the themes of the CAP being fundamental to credibility, leadership and networking resonated. If you are reading this and are not a CAP or aCAP, I highly encourage you to consider it. Feel free to contact me directly if you want to discuss further.
The panel’s comments and perspectives were still fresh in my mind when I attended Mr. Scott Nestler’s session on one of the five pillars of the CAP, ’Ethics’. Mr. Nestler, who was a contributor to CAP’s Job Task Analysis (JTA) framework as described in this ORMS Today article from 2012, espouses that ethics is a fundamental component to every part of the JTA. While the JTA includes framing the business problem and finding a technical solution, these are to be discussed in the context of what should we do and not what can we do. There are numerous examples in recent news cycles that epitomize how human data is fraught with peril., some of which Mr. Nestler discussed. These ethical questions challenge us and no one says that it is easy. But being better prepared for these situations and openly talking about them is our ongoing responsibility as analytics professionals. He gave us a number of readings to help us prepare ourselves for these decisions; for instance Cathy O’Neil’s “Weapons of Math Destruction.” I pledge to better prepare myself by exploring these publications and to be example of the high ethical standards of the CAP. Will you join us?