Bigger Data Isn’t Always Better Data

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By Cathy O'Neil When making a decision such as whether to hire, insure or lend to someone, is more data better? Actually, when it comes to fairness, the opposite is often true. Consider a recent Harvard Business Review experiment, which involved sending 316 fake applications to the largest U.S. law firms. All the applicants were among the top 1 percent of students at their schools, but other information -- such as their names, college clubs and hobbies -- provided hints about their gender and social class. The result: Upper-class males were four times as likely to get a callback as other candidates, including upper-class women. This suggests that even among equally qualified candidates, the added information gave potential employers something not to like, such as a lower-class background, a bad…
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Harvard Launches Data Science Initiative

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Harvard has launched the Data Science Initiative, a University-wide program that aims to bring together data scientists in different fields. The primary objective of this program is to bridge disciplines and promote collaboration across Harvard through data science, according to a press release. “This initiative will connect research efforts across the University in this emerging field. It will facilitate cross-fertilization in both teaching and research, paving the way to methodological innovations and to applications of these new tools to a wide range of societal and scientific challenges,” University Provost Alan M. Garber ’76 said in the press release. The initiative is led by Francesca Dominici, a biostatistics professor at the School of Public Health, and David C. Parkes, a computer science professor and dean at the School of Engineering and…
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Data Scientist is Still the Best Job in America

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  By Nick Kolakowski   January 24, 2017 Glassdoor just published its annual list of the best jobs in America, and technology-related roles dominated the top slots. Data scientist came in first, with a job score of 4.8 (out of 5), a job satisfaction rating of 4.4 (also out of 5), and a median base salary of $110,000. DevOps engineer placed second, with an identical base salary and nearly the same job score and job satisfaction ratings. Rounding out the top three was data engineer, with a median base salary of $106,000, a 4.7 job score, and a job satisfaction rating of 4.3. (In terms of methodology, Glassdoor determines a job score by weighing three factors: earning potential, overall job satisfaction rating, and number of job openings.) Other technology jobs that…
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Key Skills That Data Scientists Need

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  By William Terdoslavich   March 15, 2017 Data scientists have a deceptively straightforward job to do: make sense of the torrent of data that enters an organization as unstructured hash. Somewhere in that confusion (hopefully) lies vital insight. But is skill with algorithms and datasets enough for data scientists to succeed? What else do they need to know to advance their careers? While many tech pros might think that pushing data from query to conclusion is enough to get by, they also need to know how the overall business works, and how their data work will ultimately impact strategies and revenue. The current hunger for data analytics means that companies always want more from their data scientists. Hard and Soft Skills “There is a shortage, a skills gap in data…
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