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Data science is a young discipline, a multidisciplinary field requiring knowledge in sophisticated statistical modeling and software engineering. A strong grasp of information design doesn’t hurt, either. As a result, skilled practitioners are in high demand as increasingly data-driven enterprises and organizations in need of a unique skillset capable of reaping insights from big data. Meanwhile, there remains some confusion and debate as to what makes a data scientist.
The future of the discipline is bright, but it’s useful to look to its past to understand what it is and where it may be going. Data science arose from the convergence of two more mature disciplines. In a new post at Forbes, Gil Press presents a short history of how the discipline came to be, tracing its evolution back to a 1962 paper by mathematician John W. Tukey, “The Future of Data Analysis“. In Peter Naur’s 1974 book Concise Survey of Computer Methods, the computer scientist offered an early definition of data science, as “The science of dealing with data, once they have been established, while the relation of the data to what they represent is delegated to other fields and sciences.”
Beginning in the mid-’90s, the discussion leapt out of academic circles and turned towards potential business applications, with the advent of data mining technologies and their potential application in marketing and business intelligence. These developments also prompted the now-familiar challenge of storing and working with millions of rows of data. In 1999, Jacob Zahavi articulated this emerging issue, stating, “Scalability is a huge issue in data mining. Another technical challenge is developing models that can do a better job analyzing data, detecting non-linear relationships and interaction between elements… Special data mining tools may have to be developed to address web-site decisions.”
Data science came into its own during the last decade. As the strands of mathematics and computer science continued to intertwine in academia, new technologies were developed to mine, store, and analyze these massive data sets, while consumer internet giants such as Google demonstrated the business value of a data-driven approach to operations and innovation. A 2009 prediction by Google’s Chief Economist Hal Varian was particularly spot-on, with Varian telling McKinsey Quarterly, “I keep saying the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians…the ability to take data—to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it—that’s going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades.”
Four years later, this statement seems like a forgone conclusion, as big data has reached buzzword status in the media, and become fundamental to the operations of enterprise, academic, and government organizations. Awareness of the value of data science has leapt out of academia and the business world and into mass culture, largely thanks to the accuracy of Nate Silver’s projections during the 2012 elections and his bestselling book The Signal and the Noise. The discipline’s prominence and impact is set to increase considerably in the next decade, with the advent of the Internet of Things, the industrial internet, and the democratization of its tools and techniques, which will transform fields from healthcare to agriculture, journalism to civic life.
To learn more about the history of data science and its rise to prominence, check out Gil Press’s Short History of Data Science at Forbes.
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If you’re lamenting the decline of handmade traditional products, cast your cares aside. There’s a new Sheriff in town and its name is, Tech. Just a generation ago, children would leave the farm or the family business, go to school, and then move on to make their place in the world doing their own thing. Away from family. Today, the landscape has changed and those who have left are coming home. But this time, they’re bringing technology with them to help make things more efficient and more productive. Is Tech-Assisted Still Handmade? In a word, yes. Artists still make things “from scratch”, except now technologies allow them to not only see their vision in real-time, but their customers, too. Have you ever wondered what the image in your head might look like on paper or in metal? What about the design of prosthetic arms and healthcare devices by 3D printers? You’re still designing, creating. But just like any new technology, there’s still a learning curve. Even for cutting-edge craftspeople who find that sometimes, the line between craftsmanship and high-tech creativity may be a bit of a blur. Not to mention the expense for either the equipment required or being able to offer art using traditional tools at technology-assisted prices. Somewhere between the two, there is a trade-off. It’s up to the individual to determine where and what that trade-off is. Life in the Creative Economy One of Banksy’s paintings shredded itself upon purchase at an auction recently. AI is making music and writing books. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Blockchain all have their place in the creative economy from immersive entertainment to efficient manufacturing processes. Each of these touches the way we live now. In a joint study between McKinsey and the World Economic Forum, 'Creative Disruption: The impact of emerging technologies on the creative economy', the organisations broke down the various technologies used in the creative economy and how they’re driving change. For example: AI is being used to distill user preferences when it comes to curating movies and music. The Associated Press has used AI to free up reporters’ time and the Washington Post has created a tool to help it generate up to 70 articles a month, many stories of which they wouldn’t have otherwise dedicated staff.Machine Learning has begun to create original content. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have come together as a new medium to help move people to get up, get active, and go play whether it’s a stroll through a virtual art gallery or watching your children play at the playground. Where else might immersive media play out? Content today could help tell humanitarian stories or offer work-place diversity training. But back to the artisan handicrafts. Artistry with technology Whilst publishing firms may be looking to use AI to redefine the creative economy, they are not alone. Other artists utilising these technologies include: SculptorsDigital artistsPaintersJewellery makersBourbon distillers America’s oldest distiller has gotten on the technology bandwagon and while there is no rushing good Bourbon, but you can manage the process more efficiently. They’ve even taken things a step further and have created an app for aficionados to follow along in the process. Talk about crafted and curated for individual tastes and transparency. It may seem almost self-explanatory to note how other artisans are using technology. But what about distilleries? What are they doing? They’re creating efficiency by: Adding IoT sensors for Data Analytics collection Adding RFID tags to their barrels Creating experimental ageing warehouses (AR, anyone?) to refine their craft. Don’t worry, though. These changes won’t affect the spirit itself. After all, according to Mr. Wheatley, Master Distiller, “There’s no way to cheat mother nature or father time.” Ultimately, the idea is to not only understand the history behind the process, but to make it more efficient and repeatable. A way to preserve the processes of the past while using the advances of the present with an eye to the future. If you’re interested in using Data & Analytics to drive creativity, we may have a role for you. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expect consultants to find out more.
15. August 2019
The financial crisis of 2007-2008 changed banking. The world moved from taking mortgage loans in our dogs’ names to introducing strict regulations for banks prohibiting them from giving out loans to “anyone” without assessing Risk properly. In 2010 the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) introduced BASEL III, a regulatory framework that builds on BASEL I, and BASEL II. This framework changed how banks and financial institutions asses risk. It introduced an Advanced Internal Rate Based Approach (Commonly known as the AIRB approach). Now, the committee has introduced new changes and, by 2022, all banks and institutions will have to implement the revised IRB Framework, as well as new revised regulations for the standardised approach, CVA Framework and new frameworks for Operational Risk and Market Risk. So, what does this mean for those working Risk? Change Is Coming Change is inevitable, no matter what you do. If you work in Risk Management and Compliance, change is something you can expect to happen, often. As mentioned above, by 2022 there will be lots of changes. The Basel Committee calls this initiative the “finalised reforms”, or BASEL IV which builds on the current regulatory framework BASEL III. Quickly summarised, the changes limit the reduction in capital that effect banks IRB models. This change is predicted to impact banks in Sweden and Denmark the most, with estimations that capital ratio will fall by 2.5-3%, far higher than the 0.9% expected for the average European bank. So what does all this mean for Swedish and Danish banks? What’s Happening Now? One of the main things that Swedish and Danish banks need to revise for these new regulations, are their internal models. The new regulations introduced a new definition of Probability of Default, measured through a model commonly known as a PD model. Effectively this means that every bank must “re-develop” their internal PD Models in the IRB approach. Consequently, we are already seeing a clear response from the banks in their strategies moving forward. It has already become quite apparent that many banks are looking to make IRB model development their focus for 2019-2020 and 2021. This has resulted in a boom in the hiring space for developers with experience in IRB Modelling and Credit Risk Modelling in general, which in turn has led to high demand in the face of the low supply of these types of candidates. Understandably aware of this, modellers are now looking to negotiate higher salaries. What You Can Do For candidates that hold the right experience, there are good opportunities at hand. If so inclined, they can utilise this chance to finally see if the grass actually is greener on the other side, or not. However, there are a couple of things worth considering before making a move. Firstly, are you actually keen on switching jobs? Your skills are probably equally in demand at your current employer and, if you are having doubts about moving from the get-go, you may well be able to negotiate a rise without pursuing a new opportunity. However, if you are serious about finding something new, this is a great time to do so. The majority of banks have found that these new regulations are creating an unsustainable workload, and are now looking for talent externally to expand their teams. This means that the experienced modeller can pretty much have their pick of the litter. Furthermore, if you are a junior modeller, there are now plenty of opportunities for you to enter a niche area known for being exciting and innovative. So, wherever you are in your career, these regulatory changes are likely to have a large impact and open up new avenues for you to explore. We all know that regulations in banking and finance are now essential, we all agree, even if they can be a little frustrating. However, what people often fail to think of are the opportunities new regulatory requirements create. In the case of BASEL IV, we’re already seeing an increase in demand for strong talent, and a demand for people who are passionate about Risk Management and model development. For businesses, new regulations also provide the chance to not only improve their teams, but to create new models that can be utilised to optimise and automate. A lot of financial institutions are already aware of this and are using these models to gain competitive advantage over their competitors, as well as to stay one hundred percent compliant. If you’re looking to build out you Risk Management team or take on a new Risk opportunity for yourself, we may be able to help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.
08. August 2019
£50000 - £65000 per annum
This role involves working with the most established media agency in the UK
£600 - £650 per day
Hi all, I'm currently recruiting for a Solutions Architect who designing and implementing solutions on Microsoft Azure
£30000 - £45000 per annum + competitive bonus + benefits
A great opportunity to join an exciting and ambitious credit card company as the Lead Analyst on Application Fraud.
£80000 - £95000 per annum + competitive benefits package
A leading consultancy are seeking an experienced Forensic Analytics Director to oversee a team responsible for high volume transaction monitoring.