Wie kann man sich zum/r Data Scientist ausbilden lassen?

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Das allgegenwärtige Internet und die Digitalisierung haben heutzutage viele Veränderungen in den Geschäften überall auf der Welt mit sich gebracht. Aus diesem Grund wird Data Science immer wichtiger.

In der Data Science werden große Datenmengen an Informationen aus allen Arten von Quellen gesammelt, sowohl aus strukturierten als auch aus unstrukturierten Daten. Dazu werden Techniken und Theorien aus verschiedenen Bereichen der Statistik, der Informationswissenschaft, der Mathematik und der Informatik verwendet.

Datenexperten und -expertinnen, d. h. Data Scientists, beschäftigen sich genau mit dieser Arbeit. Wenn Du Data Scientist werden möchten, kannst Du eine große Karriere in der Data Science beginnen, indem Du Dich für eine beliebige geeignete Weiterbildung einschreibst, der Deinem Talent, Deinen Interessen und Deinen Fähigkeiten in einigen der wichtigsten Data-Science-Kurse entspricht.

Was machen Data Scientists?

Zunächst einmal ist es wichtig zu verstehen, was man eigentlich unter dem Begriff „Data Scientist” versteht. Data Scientist ist lediglich ein neuer Beruf, der in vielen Artikeln häufig zusammen mit dem der Data Analysts beschrieben wird, weil die erforderlichen Grundfertigkeiten recht ähnlich sind. Vor allem müssen Data Scientists die Fähigkeit haben, Daten aus MySQL-Datenbanken zu extrahieren, Pivot-Tabellen in Excel zu verwalten, Datenbankansichten zu erstellen und Analytics zu verwalten.

Data Scientists werden viele Stellen in Unternehmen angeboten, die mit der zunehmenden Verfügbarkeit von Daten konfrontiert sind und Personen brauchen, die ihnen bei der Entwicklung der Infrastruktur helfen, die sie zur Verwaltung der Daten benötigen. Oft handelt es sich um Unternehmen, die ihre ersten Schritte in diesem Bereich machen. Dafür benötigen sie eine Person mit grundlegenden Fähigkeiten in der Softwaretechnik, um den gesamten Prozess voranzutreiben.

Dann gibt es stark datenorientierte Unternehmen, für diejenigen Daten sozusagen Rohprodukt und Rohstoff darstellen. In diesen Unternehmen werden Datenanalyse und maschinelles Lernen recht intensiv betrieben, wodurch Personen mit guten mathematischen, statistischen oder sogar physikalischen Fähigkeiten benötigt werden.

Es gibt auch Unternehmen, die keine Daten als Produkt haben, aber ihre Zukunft auf sie und ihre Sinne planen und abstimmen. Diese Unternehmen werden immer mehr und brauchen sowohl Data Scientists mit grundlegenden Fähigkeiten als auch Data Scientists mit speziellen Kenntnissen, von Visualisierung bis hin zu Machine Learning.

Kompetenzen der Data Scientists

Die Grundlagen sind zunächst für alle, die im Bereich der Data Science arbeiten, dieselben. Unabhängig von den Aufgaben, die Data Scientists zu erfüllen haben, muss man grundlegende Softwaretechnik beherrschen.

Selbstverständlich müssen Data Scientists mit Programmiersprachen wie R oder Python und mit Datenbanksprachen wie SQL umgehen können. Sie bedienen sich dann statistischer, grundlegender Fähigkeiten um zu bestimmen, welche Techniken für die zu erreichenden Ziele am besten geeignet sind.

Ebenso sind beim Umgang mit großen Datenmengen und in sogenannten „datengetriebenen” Kontexten Techniken und Methoden des maschinellen Lernens wichtig: KNN-Algorithmen (Nächste-Nachbarn-Klassifikation für Mustererkennung), Random Forests oder Ensemble Techniken kommen hier zum Einsatz.

Entscheidend ist, die für den jeweiligen Kontext am besten geeignete Technik unterscheiden zu können, und dies bevor man die verschiedenen Werkzeuge beherrscht.

Die lineare Algebra und die multivariate Berechnung sind auch unerlässlich. Sie bilden die Grundlage für viele der oben beschriebenen Fähigkeiten und können sich als nützlich erweisen, wenn das mit den Daten arbeitende Team beschließt, intern eigene Implementierungen zu entwickeln.

Eins ist noch entscheidend. In einer idealen Welt werden die Daten korrekt identifiziert, da sie vollständig und kohärent sind. In der realen Welt muss sich der Data Scientist mit unvollkommenen Daten auseinandersetzen, d. h. mit fehlenden Werten, Inkonsistenzen und unterschiedlichen Formatierungen. Hier kann man von Munging sprechen, d. h. von der Tätigkeit, die sogenannten Rohdaten in Daten umzuwandeln, die ein einheitliches Format haben und somit in den Prozess der Aufnahme und Analyse einbezogen werden können.

Wenn Daten als wesentlich für Geschäftsentscheidungen sind, reicht es nicht aus, eine Person zu haben, die sie verarbeiten, analysieren und aufnehmen kann. Die Visualisierung und Kommunikation von Daten ist ebenso zentral. Daten zu visualisieren und zu kommunizieren bedeutet, anderen die angewandten Techniken und die erzielten Ergebnisse zu beschreiben. Daher ist es wichtig zu wissen, wie man Visualisierungswerkzeuge wie ggplot oder D3.js verwendet.

Ausbildungsmöglichkeiten und Bootcamps, um Data Scientist zu werden

Kurz gesagt gibt es zwei gängige Wege, um Data Scientist zu werden.

  • Auf der einen Seite kann man einen Universitätslehrgang absolvieren. Diese Art von Studiengang führt zu einem spezialisierten Abschluss, der nach einem dreijährigen Bachelorabschluss in Informatik, Mathematik oder Statistik absolviert werden kann. In den letzten Jahren wurden diese neuen Studiengänge an den europäischen Universitäten immer häufiger angeboten.
  • Auf der anderen Seite kann man sich für eine Weiterbildung zum/r Data Scientist anmelden, zum Beispiel eine Weiterbildung von DataScientest. Als national und international anerkannte Ausbildungsorganisation bietet DataScientest eine Weiterbildung zum/r Data Scientist an, die sich an Personen mit einem Bachelorabschluss und Kenntnissen in Kommunikation wendet. Ihr großer Vorteil ist die persönliche Betreuung, die allen Teilnehmer und Teilnehmerinnen angeboten wird, sowie ein Fernstudium, das 85% individuelles Coaching und 15% Masterclasses umfasst. Alles läuft über eine sichere Plattform, damit jeder Teilnehmer und jede Teilnehmerin codieren, Daten erforschen usw. können.

Bei dieser DataScientest-Weiterbildung haben die Lernenden die Wahl zwischen einer weitgehenden Ausbildung (10 Stunden pro Woche) oder einer Bootcamp-Ausbildung (35 Stunden pro Woche). 

Das am Ende des Kurses erworbene Zertifikat wird von der Pariser Universität La Sorbonne anerkannt.   

How To Perform High-Quality Data Science Job Assessments in 4 Steps

In 2009, Google Chief Economist Hal Varian said to the McKinsey Quarterly that “the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians.”

At the time, it was hard to believe. But more than a decade later, we can’t get around the importance of data. Where once oil ruled the world, data is now catching up—quickly. That calls for more and better data scientists. In this article, we’ll explain to you how to find them.

Source: https://www.pexels.com/

Why is it so hard to find good data scientists?

The demand for data scientist roles has increased by 650 percent since 2012, and that number will continue to grow as the amount of data—and power it holds—grows steadily, too.

But unsurprisingly, there hasn’t been an increase of 650 percent in available data scientists on the job market. Even though the job is a lot sexier—and better paid—than ten years ago, many employers are still struggling to fill their empty seats with talented data scientists.

McKinsey predicted that there would be a shortage of between 140,000 and 190,000 people with analytical skills in the U.S. alone in 2018, and even in 2022 good data scientists, data analysts, forecasting analysts, modelling analysts, machine learning scientists, are hard to find.

Add to that another 1.5 million managers who will also need to at least understand how data analysis drives decision-making, and you can see how employers can be in a bit of a pickle.

Why thoroughly screening data scientists is still crucial

Even though demand is growing much faster than the number of data scientists, companies can’t simply settle for the first data lover who’s available from Monday to Friday.

It’s no longer the company with the most data that wins the game. The ones who are taking the lead are the ones that are able to get the most out of data. They can pull valuable information that helps with decision-making and innovation out of even the smallest pieces of data—and they’re right, over and over again.

This is why it’s vital to check if applicants have the skills you need to derive valuable input out of data. You’ll be basing a lot of business decisions on what these data scientists tell you, so best make sure they’re right.

But what makes someone a great data scientist? Some people turn their life around and go from being a maths teacher to following a 12-week data science boot camp or online data science course and quickly get the hang of it—others are top of their class, but aren’t confident enough data scientists to inform your business on its next big move.

The truth is that the skills a valuable data scientist has, will have to develop over the years. It’s not just the data literacy, hard skills and the brain for maths—they’ll also need to be able to present and communicate their findings the right way.

Finding the right data scientists using a data science job assessment

So, you’ll want to choose your data scientists carefully, but how do you do that? Resumes and portfolios might seem impressive, but how do you actually find out if someone has the skills you’re looking for—especially if you don’t have anyone on board yet that knows what to ask?

The easiest and most effective thing to do, is to screen candidates early in the process, using a data science test that’s been created by a real-life expert.

This will ensure that relevant questions are being asked, and you get a clear idea of who’s worth going through the hiring process with—and who isn’t.

In this article, we’ll walk you through four steps that will help you set up a data science job assessment that is of real value to your hiring managers. Let’s get started.


Source: https://www.pexels.com/

Step 1: Choose the right platform

You could, of course, draw up an online survey and create a test in there to send out to all applicants, but these might be hard to ‘grade’—although you’ll develop a tremendous respect for teachers along the way.

In many cases, it’s better to choose a dedicated platform that has tests available, and will help you swift through the results effortlessly.

Before you start looking for platforms, make a list of absolute needs that you won’t compromise on. Ask yourself at least the following questions:

  • What types of tests are you looking for? Only hard skills, or also soft skills? If you need both, look for a platform that offers both—mixing and matching can be time-consuming.
  • Will there be tests readily available, or are you looking for a platform that allows you to create your own tests?
  • Does the platform have experience with companies like yours?
  • How are the tests presented to candidates, and how do you want the test results presented to your hiring managers?
  • And last but not least: what are you willing to spend on a job assessment platform? Do they charge per candidate, a flat fee, or would you prefer an annual subscription?

Once you’ve chosen a platform that is right for you, the fun can begin.

Step 2: Start with a hard skills assessment

For roles like data scientists, you’ll be initially focusing on whether they possess the right hard skills. Depending on the specific role, you can test core data science topics such as:

Statistics

You’re expecting your future data scientist to be fluent in statistics. Depending on the level you’re hiring at, you might want to throw in a few questions that quickly test how fast someone can see through the woods in a mess of statistics, and if they can interpret them the right way.

Machine learning

For some more senior roles, machine learning is becoming increasingly important in the world of data science. If this is the case for the role you’re hiring for, test to see if someone knows how to use data to feed it to machine learning and build awesome products.

Neural networks

A big part of data science is knowing how to work with neural networks. Neural networks are a way to solve problems through trial and error, based on human and animal brains. It’s incredibly helpful if your data scientist’s brain can use them.

Deep learning

Deep learning is a subfield of machine learning that can be necessary in specific data science roles. It works more closely to the way the human brain makes decisions, so this will require a specific set of test questions.

Collecting data

All that data has to come from somewhere, right? Your data scientists should not only be able to read and process data, but also know where and how to get the most valuable input. For this, include some questions about data extraction, data transformation, and data loading. This can also include tests on Excel and querying languages like SQL.

Storing data

Databases should look nothing like the average teenage bedroom. Meaning that they should be nice and tidy, making it easier to extract valuable information from them. Since data isn’t just numbers, but can be anything from video to reviews, it’s crucial that you hire a data scientist who knows how to store this correctly.

Analyzing and modeling data

Data wrangling, data exploration, analysis, and modeling need in-depth understanding of math and programming, but luckily, even data scientists get some help.

Data scientists use analytical tools like Apache Spark, D3.js Python, and many, many more to analyze all that data. If you’re using a specific one in your company and want your data scientists to be able to hit the ground running, quickly test if they’re actually able to use the tools they list on their resume.

Visualizing and presenting data

At the end of the day, data scientists will have to be able to communicate their findings to other departments with people who are less data-savvy. For this, they often use tools that help them visualize data to explain it in a more easy-to-grasp way.

Test if your next data scientist is able to do that with a quick check on their skills in tools like Tableau, PowerBI, Plotly, Bokeh, or whichever one you use.

Step 3: Continue with a soft skill assessment

Your friendly neighborhood data scientist should not only be a math genius, they should possess the right soft skills too. If they’re impossible to work with, you won’t reap the benefits of their skill set. Productivity will suffer, and team morale might also take a hit. Here are some soft skills to test your candidates on:

  • Business-oriented: ultimately, your data scientist will be fueling your decision-making process. This means they’ll have to have a good head for business, on top of simply understanding the numbers.
  • Communication skills: sure, everyone in your company preferably has some of these, but since data scientists play such an important role in decision-making, you’ll want them to be able to express themselves well—and listen to what you’re asking from them.
  • Teamwork: your data scientists shouldn’t be on a little island somewhere in the company. The more they integrate with other departments, the easier it is for them to determine what your business needs from them.
  • Critical thinking skills: this one’s pretty self-explanatory, but the more critical your data scientist, the more reassurance you’ll have that data is correctly interpreted.
  • Creativity: data is less dry than it seems. From data storage to finding connections and problem-solving: it all requires some form of creative thinking.


Source: https://www.pexels.com/

Step 4: Follow up on the test results

If you want to make the most of your data science job assessment, it shouldn’t just be a test to see who goes through to the next round. For the candidates that ‘pass’, you can customize the questions in their follow-up interview based on the strengths and weaknesses they showed in their test.

Because the test they took says a lot, but at the same time—it’s just a snapshot. Did they score remarkably high on certain skills? Ask them how they got to be so experienced in that, and what projects contributed most to that.

Did you notice that they struggled with questions about X? Ask how they are planning to improve on that and how they make sure this doesn’t impact the quality of their work for the time being—are they calling in help from a peer, or do they simply take more time to figure things out?

These types of follow-up questions steer a job interview in a much more real-life direction: it’s not a generic set of questions that any company could ask any employee, but a real conversation between you and the candidate, in which you can evaluate if they fit in the future of the company—and if your company fits in theirs.

Ready to start the hiring process?

With these tips, we’re sure you’ll get some extra reassurance that your next hire will be a great fit—not just based on their previous experience and a couple of interviews. If you want, you can keep reading about data science jobs—or simply start hiring. Good luck!

How To Perform High-Quality Data Science Job Assessments in 4 Steps

In 2009, Google Chief Economist Hal Varian said to the McKinsey Quarterly that “the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians.” At the time, it was hard to believe. But more than a decade later, we can’t get around the importance of data. Where once oil ruled the world, data is now catching up—quickly. That calls for more and better data scientists. In this article, we’ll explain to you how to find them.

Why is it so hard to find good data scientists?

The demand for data scientist roles has increased by 650 percent since 2012, and that number will continue to grow as the amount of data—and power it holds—grows steadily, too.

But unsurprisingly, there hasn’t been an increase of 650 percent in available data scientists on the job market. Even though the job is a lot sexier—and better paid—than ten years ago, many employers are still struggling to fill their empty seats with talented data scientists.  McKinsey predicted that there would be a shortage of between 140,000 and 190,000 people with analytical skills in the U.S. alone in 2018, and even in 2022 good data scientists, data analysts, forecasting analysts, modelling analysts, machine learning scientists, are hard to find.  Add to that another 1.5 million managers who will also need to at least understand how data analysis drives decision-making, and you can see how employers can be in a bit of a pickle.

Why thoroughly screening data scientists is still crucial

Even though demand is growing much faster than the number of data scientists, companies can’t simply settle for the first data lover who’s available from Monday to Friday. It’s no longer the company with the most data that wins the game. The ones who are taking the lead are the ones that are able to get the most out of data. They can pull valuable information that helps with decision-making and innovation out of even the smallest pieces of data—and they’re right, over and over again. This is why it’s vital to check if applicants have the skills you need to derive valuable input out of data. You’ll be basing a lot of business decisions on what these data scientists tell you, so best make sure they’re right.

But what makes someone a great data scientist? Some people turn their life around and go from being a maths teacher to following a 12-week data science boot camp or online data science course and quickly get the hang of it—others are top of their class, but aren’t confident enough data scientists to inform your business on its next big move. The truth is that the skills a valuable data scientist has, will have to develop over the years. It’s not just the data literacy, hard skills and the brain for maths—they’ll also need to be able to present and communicate their findings the right way.

Finding the right data scientists using a data science job assessment

So, you’ll want to choose your data scientists carefully, but how do you do that? Resumes and portfolios might seem impressive, but how do you actually find out if someone has the skills you’re looking for—especially if you don’t have anyone on board yet that knows what to ask. The easiest and most effective thing to do, is to screen candidates early in the process, using a data science test that’s been created by a real-life expert. This will ensure that relevant questions are being asked, and you get a clear idea of who’s worth going through the hiring process with — and who isn’t. In this article, we’ll walk you through four steps that will help you set up a data science job assessment that is of real value to your hiring managers. Let’s get started.

Step 1: Choose the right platform

You could, of course, draw up an online survey and create a test in there to send out to all applicants, but these might be hard to ‘grade’—although you’ll develop a tremendous respect for teachers along the way. In many cases, it’s better to choose a dedicated platform that has tests available, and will help you swift through the results effortlessly.

Before you start looking for platforms, make a list of absolute needs that you won’t compromise on. Ask yourself at least the following questions:

  • What types of tests are you looking for? Only hard skills, or also soft skills? If you need both, look for a platform that offers both—mixing and matching can be time-consuming.
  • Will there be tests readily available, or are you looking for a platform that allows you to create your own tests?
  • Does the platform have experience with companies like yours?
  • How are the tests presented to candidates, and how do you want the test results presented to your hiring managers?
  • And last but not least: what are you willing to spend on a job assessment platform? Do they charge per candidate, a flat fee, or would you prefer an annual subscription?

Once you’ve chosen a platform that is right for you, the fun can begin.

Step 2: Start with a hard skills assessment

For roles like data scientists, you’ll be initially focusing on whether they possess the right hard skills. Depending on the specific role, you can test core data science topics such as:

Statistics

You’re expecting your future data scientist to be fluent in statistics. Depending on the level you’re hiring at, you might want to throw in a few questions that quickly test how fast someone can see through the woods in a mess of statistics, and if they can interpret them the right way.

Machine learning

For some more senior roles, machine learning is becoming increasingly important in the world of data science. If this is the case for the role you’re hiring for, test to see if someone knows how to use data to feed it to machine learning and build awesome products.

Neural networks

A big part of data science is knowing how to work with neural networks. Neural networks are a way to solve problems through trial and error, based on human and animal brains. It’s incredibly helpful if your data scientist’s brain can use them.

Deep learning

Deep learning is a subfield of machine learning that can be necessary in specific data science roles. It works more closely to the way the human brain makes decisions, so this will require a specific set of test questions.

Collecting data

All that data has to come from somewhere, right? Your data scientists should not only be able to read and process data, but also know where and how to get the most valuable input. For this, include some questions about data extraction, data transformation, and data loading. This can also include tests on Excel and querying languages like SQL.

Storing data

Databases should look nothing like the average teenage bedroom. Meaning that they should be nice and tidy, making it easier to extract valuable information from them. Since data isn’t just numbers, but can be anything from video to reviews, it’s crucial that you hire a data scientist who knows how to store this correctly.

Analyzing and modeling data

Data wrangling, data exploration, analysis, and modeling need in-depth understanding of math and programming, but luckily, even data scientists get some help.

Data scientists use analytical tools like Apache Spark, D3.js Python, and many, many more to analyze all that data. If you’re using a specific one in your company and want your data scientists to be able to hit the ground running, quickly test if they’re actually able to use the tools they list on their resume.

Visualizing and presenting data

At the end of the day, data scientists will have to be able to communicate their findings to other departments with people who are less data-savvy. For this, they often use tools that help them visualize data to explain it in a more easy-to-grasp way.

Test if your next data scientist is able to do that with a quick check on their skills in tools like Tableau, PowerBI, Plotly, Bokeh, or whichever one you use.

Step 3: Continue with a soft skill assessment

Your friendly neighborhood data scientist should not only be a math genius, they should possess the right soft skills too. If they’re impossible to work with, you won’t reap the benefits of their skill set. Productivity will suffer, and team morale might also take a hit. Here are some soft skills to test your candidates on:

  • Business-oriented: ultimately, your data scientist will be fueling your decision-making process. This means they’ll have to have a good head for business, on top of simply understanding the numbers.
  • Communication skills: sure, everyone in your company preferably has some of these, but since data scientists play such an important role in decision-making, you’ll want them to be able to express themselves well—and listen to what you’re asking from them.
  • Teamwork: your data scientists shouldn’t be on a little island somewhere in the company. The more they integrate with other departments, the easier it is for them to determine what your business needs from them.
  • Critical thinking skills: this one’s pretty self-explanatory, but the more critical your data scientist, the more reassurance you’ll have that data is correctly interpreted.
  • Creativity: data is less dry than it seems. From data storage to finding connections and problem-solving: it all requires some form of creative thinking.

Step 4: Follow up on the test results

If you want to make the most of your data science job assessment, it shouldn’t just be a test to see who goes through to the next round. For the candidates that ‘pass’, you can customize the questions in their follow-up interview based on the strengths and weaknesses they showed in their test. Because the test they took says a lot, but at the same time—it’s just a snapshot. Did they score remarkably high on certain skills? Ask them how they got to be so experienced in that, and what projects contributed most to that.

Did you notice that they struggled with questions about X? Ask how they are planning to improve on that and how they make sure this doesn’t impact the quality of their work for the time being—are they calling in help from a peer, or do they simply take more time to figure things out?

These types of follow-up questions steer a job interview in a much more real-life direction: it’s not a generic set of questions that any company could ask any employee, but a real conversation between you and the candidate, in which you can evaluate if they fit in the future of the company—and if your company fits in theirs.

Ready to start the hiring process?

With these tips, we’re sure you’ll get some extra reassurance that your next hire will be a great fit—not just based on their previous experience and a couple of interviews. If you want, you can keep reading about data science jobs—or simply start hiring. Good luck!

10 Best Resources To Learn Data Science Online in 2022

Today, data science is more than a buzzword. To simply put it, data science is an interdisciplinary field of gathering data from various sources and channels such as databases, analysing and transforming them into visualization and graphs. This basically facilitates the readability and understanding of the data to aid in soft-skills like insightful decision-making for any organization or business. In short, data science is a combination of incorporating scientific methods, different technologies, algorithms, and more when it comes to data.

Apart from the certified courses, as a data scientist, it is expected to have experience in various domains of computer science, including knowledge of a few programming languages such as Python and R as well as statistics and mathematics. An individual should be able to comprehend the data provided and be able to transform it into graphs which help in extracting insight for a particular business.

Best Resources To Learn Data Science

For those pursuing a career in data science, it is not just technical skills that matter, in business settings an individual is tasked with communicating complex ideas and making data-driven insightful decisions. As a result, people in the field of data science are expected to be effective communicators, leaders, and team members as well as high-level analytical thinkers too.

If we talk about applications of data science, it is used in myriad fields, including image and speech recognition, the gaming world, logistics and supply chain, healthcare, and risk detection, among others. It remains a limitless world indeed. Data scientists will continue to remain in high demand, while at the same time there is a substantial skill gap that needs to be currently addressed in the industry.

Here’s the lowdown on a few of the online resources—in no particular order—which can be checked out to learn data science. While a few of these educational platforms have been launched a couple of years ago, they would continue to hold equal relevance when it comes to resources for seeking in-depth knowledge related to everything in the field of data science.

1. Udemy

Udemy is a site that offers hands-on exercises while extending comprehensive data courses. At last count, there were about 10,000 data courses and almost 500 of which are free of cost. An individual can discover specialisations, including Python, Tableau, R, and many more. While offering real-world examples, Udemy courses are quite well-defined when it comes to specific topics.
The courses are suitable for beginners as well as experts in the field of data science.

2. Coursera

Coursera is another online learning platform that offers massive open online courses (MOOC), specialisations, and degrees in a range of subjects, and this includes data science as well. Some of the courses hosted on the platform include top-notch names such as Harvard University, University of Toronto, Johns Hopkins University, University of Michigan, and MITx, among others. Coursera courses can be audited for free and certificates can be obtained by paying the mentioned amount. The courses from Coursera are part of a particular specialisation, which is a micro-credential offered by Coursera. These specialisations also include a capstone project.

3. Pluralsight

Pluralsight remains an educational platform for learners through insights from instructor-led courses or online courses, which lay stress on basics and some straightforward scenarios. Courses taken online will require you to exert more effort to gain detailed insights, thus helping you in the longer run. Pluralsight introduces one to several video training courses for Software developers and IT administrators.

By using the service of Pluralsight, an individual can look forward to learning a lot of solutions. An individual can even get the key business objectives and even close the skill gaps in critical areas like cloud, design, security, and mobile data.

4. FlowingData

The website, which is produced by Dr. Nathan Yau, Ph.D., offers insights from experts about how to present, analyse, and understand data. This comes with practical guides to illustrate the points with real-time examples. In addition, the site also offers book recommendations, as well as provides insights related to the field of data science.
There are also articles which an individual can browse related to gaining more in-depth insight into the correlation between data science and the world around.

5. edX

edX is an online platform, which has been created as a tie-up between Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This website has been designed with the idea to highlight courses in a wide range of disciplines and deliver them to a larger audience across the world. edX extends courses that are offered by 140 top-notch universities at free or nominal charges to make learning easy. The website includes at least 3,000 courses and has programs available for learners to excel in the field of data science.

6. Kaggle

Kaggle is an online learning platform that would be quite beneficial for individuals who already have some knowledge related to data science. In addition, most of the micro-courses require the users to have some prior knowledge in data science languages such as Python or R and machine learning. It remains an ideal site for upgrading skills and enhancing the capabilities in the field of data science. It offers extensive insights related to the field from experts.

7. GitHub

GitHub remains a renowned platform that uses Git, which is a DevOps tool used for source code management, to apply version control to a code. With over 40 million developers on its users list, it also opens up a lot of opportunities for data scientists to collaborate and manage projects together, besides gaining insights about the industry that continues to remain high in demand at the moment.

 

 

8. Reddit

This is a platform that comprises sub-forums, or subreddits, each focused on a subject matter of interest. Under this, the R/datascience subreddit has been titled the data science community, which remains one of the larger subreddit pages related to data science. Various data science professionals discuss relevant topics in data science. The data science subreddit remains insightful for individuals seeking a community that can provide related technical advice in the field of data science.

9. Udacity

Udacity Data Science Nanodegree remains an ideal certification program for those who remain well-versed with languages such as Python, SQL, machine learning, and statistics. In terms of content, Udacity Data Science Nanodegree remains quite advanced and introduces hands-on practice in the form of real-world projects. While Udacity doesn’t offer an all-inclusive course, it introduces separate courses for becoming an expert in the field of data science. Professionals who aspire to become data scientists are advised to take Udacity’s three courses namely Intro to Data Analysis, Introduction to Inferential Statistics, and Data Scientist Nanodegree. These three courses extend real-world projects, which are provided by industry experts. In addition, technical mentor support, flexible learning program, and personal career coach and career services are also offered to aspirants in the domain.

10. KDnuggets

KDnuggets remains a resourceful site on business analytics, big data, data mining, data science, and machine learning. The site is edited by Gregory Piatetsky-Shapiro, a co-founder of Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining Conferences. KDnuggets boasts of more than 4,00,000 unique visitors and has about 1,90,000 subscribers. The site also provides information related to tutorials, certificates, webinars, courses, education, and curated news, among others.

 

Ending Note

Increasing technology and big data mean that organizations must leverage their data in order to deliver more powerful products and services to the world by analyzing that data and gaining insight, which is what the term “Data Science” means. You can jumpstart your career in Data Science by utilizing any of the resources listed above. Make sure you have the right resources and certifications. Now is the time to work in the data industry.

 

Select the Right career path between Software Developer and Data Scientist

In today’s digital day and age, a software development career is one of the most lucrative ones. Custom software developers abound, offering all sorts of services for business organizations anywhere in the world. Software developers of all kinds, vendors, full-time staff, contract workers, or part-time workers, all are important members of the Information Technology community. 

There are different career paths to choose from in the world of software development. Among the most promising ones include a software developer career and a data scientist career. What exactly are these?

Software developers are the brainstorming, creative masterminds behind all kinds of computer programs. Although there may be some that focus on a specific app or program, others build giant networks or underlying systems, which power and trigger other programs. That’s why there are two classifications of a software developer, the app software developer, and the developers of systems software.

On the other hand, data scientists are a new breed of experts in analytical data with the technical skills to resolve complex issues, as well as the curiosity to explore what problems require solving. Data scientists, in any custom software development service, are part trend-spotter, part mathematicians, and part computer scientists. And, since they bestraddle both IT and business worlds, they’re highly in-demand and of course well-paid. 

When it comes to the field of custom software development and software development in general, which career is the most promising? Let’s find out. 

Data Science and Software Development, the Differences

Although both are extremely technical, and while both have the same sets of skills, there are huge differences in how these skills are applied. Thus, to determine which career path to choose from, let’s compare and find the most critical differences. 

The Methodologies

Data Science Methodology

There are different places in which a person could come into the data science pipeline. If they are gathering data, then they probably are called a data engineer, and they would be pulling data from different resources, cleaning and processing it, and storing it in a database. Usually, this is referred to as the ETL process or the extract, transform, and load. 

If they use data to create models and perform analysis, probably they’re called a ‘data analyst’ or a ‘machine learning engineer’. The critical aspects of this part of the pipeline are making certain that any models made don’t violate the underlying assumptions, and that they are driving worthwhile insights. 

Methodology in Software Development 

In contrast, the development of software makes use of the SDLC methodology or the software development life cycle. The workflow or cycle is used in developing and maintaining software. The steps are planning, implementing, testing, documenting, deploying, and maintaining. 

Following one of the different SDLC models, in theory, could lead to software that runs at peak efficiency and would boost any future development. 

The Approaches

Data science is a very process-oriented field The practitioners consume and analyze sets of data to understand a problem better and come up with a solution. Software development is more of approaching tasks with existing methodologies and frameworks. For example, the Waterfall model is a popular method that maintains every software development life cycle phase that should be completed and reviewed before going to the next. 

Some frameworks used in development include the V-shaped model, Agile, and Spiral. Simply, there is no equal data science process, although a lot of data scientists are within one of the approaches as part of the bigger team. Pure developers of the software have a lot of roles to fill outside data science, from front-end development to DevOps and infrastructure roles. 

Moreover, although data analytics pays well, the roles of software developers of all kinds are still higher in demand. Thus, if machine learning isn’t your thing, then you could spend your spare time in developing expertise in your area of interest instead. 

The Tools

The wheelhouse of a data scientist has data analytics tools, machine learning, data visualization, working with databases, and predictive modeling. If you use plenty of data ingestion and storage they probably would use MongoDB, Amazon S3, PostgreSQL, or something the same. For building a model, there’s a great chance that they would be working with Scikit-learn or Statsmodels. 

Big data distributed processing needs Apache Spark. Software engineers use software to design and analyze tools, programming languages, software testing, web apps tools, and so on. With data science, many depend on what you’re attempting to accomplish. For actually creating TextWrangler, code Atom, Emacs, Visual Code Studio, and Vim are popular. 

Django by Python, Ruby on Rails, and Flask see plenty of use in the backend web development world. Vue.js emerged recently as one of the best ways of creating lightweight web apps, and similarly for AJAX when creating asynchronous-updating, creating dynamic web content. Everyone must know how to utilize a version control system like GitHub for instance. 

The Skills

To become a data scientist, some of the most important things to know include machine learning, programming, data visualization, statistics, and the willingness to learn. Various positions may need more than these skills, but it’s a safe bet to say that these are the bare minimum when you pursue a data science career. 

Often, the necessary skills to be a developer of the software will be a little more intangible. The ability of course to program and code in various programming languages is required, but you should also be able to work well in development teams, resolve an issue, adapt to various scenarios, and should be willing to learn. This again isn’t an exhaustive list of skills, but these certainly would serve you well if you are interested in this career. 

Conclusion

You should, at the end of the day must choose a career path that’s based on your strengths and interests. The salaries of data scientists and software developers  are the same to an average at least. However, before choosing which is better for you, consider experimenting with various projects and interact with different aspects of the business to determine where your skills and personality best fits in since that is where you’ll grow the most in the future.

Connections Between Data Science & Finance

Image Source: pixabay.com

The world of finance is changing at an unprecedented rate. Data science has completely altered the face of traditional finance management. Though data has long been a critical component to finances, the introduction of big data and artificial intelligence have created new tools that are strengthening the predictive ability of many financial institutions.

These changes have led to a rapid increase in the need for financial professionals with data science skills. Nearly every sector in finances is converting to greater use of data science and management from the stock market and retirement accounts to credit score calculation. A greater understanding of the interplay between data and finance is a key skill gap.

Likewise, they have opened many doors for those that are interested in analyzing their personal finances. More and more people are taking their finances into their own hands and using the data tools available to make the best decisions for them. In today’s world, the sky’s the limit for financial analysis and management!

The Rise of the Financial Analyst

Financial analysts are the professionals who are responsible for the general management of money and investments both in an industrial and personal finance realm. Typically a financial analyst will spend time reviewing and understanding the overall stock portfolio and financial standing of a client including:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Retirement accounts
  • Financial history
  • Current financial statements and reports
  • Overarching business and industry trends

From there, the analyst will provide a recommendation with data-backed findings to the client on how they should manage their finances going into the future.

As you can imagine, with all of this data to analyze, the need for financial analysts to have a background or understanding of data science has never been higher! Finance jobs requiring skills such as artificial intelligence and big data increased by over 60% in the last year. Though these new jobs are typically rooted in computer science and data analytics, most professionals still need a background in financial management as well.

The unique skills required for a position like this means there is a huge (and growing) skills gap in the financial sector. Those professionals that are qualified and able to rise to fill the need are seeing substantial pay increases and hundreds of job opportunities across the nation and the globe.

A Credit Score Example

But where does all of this data science and professional financial account management come back to impact the everyday person making financial decisions? Surprisingly, pretty much in every facet of their lives. From things like retirement accounts to faster response times in financial analysis to credit scores — data science in the financial industry is like a cloaked hand pulling the strings in the background.

Take, for example, your credit score. It is one of the single most important numbers in your life, for better or worse. A high credit score can open all sorts of financial doors and get you better interest rates on the things you need loans for. A bad score can limit the amount lenders willing to qualify you for a loan and increase the interest rate substantially, meaning you will end up paying far more money in the end.

Your credit score is calculated by several things — though we understand the basic outline of what goes into the formula, the finer points are somewhat of a mystery. We know the big factors are:

  • Personal financial history
  • Debit-credit ratio
  • Length of credit history
  • Number of new credit hits or applications

All of this data and number crunching can have a real impact on your life, just one example of how data in the financial world is relevant.

Using Data Science in Personal Finance

Given all this information, you might be thinking to yourself that what you really need is a certificate in data science. Certainly, that will open a number of career doors for you in a multitude of realms, not just the finance industry. Data science is quickly becoming a cornerstone of how most major industries do business.

However, that isn’t necessarily required to get ahead on managing your personal finances. Just a little information about programs such as Excel can get you a long way. Some may even argue that Excel is the original online data management tool as it can be used to do things like:

  • Create schedules
  • Manage budgets
  • Visualize data in charts and graphs
  • Track revenues and expenses
  • Conditionally format information
  • Manage inventory
  • Identify trends in large data sets

There are even several tools and guides out there that will help you to get started!

***

Data analysis and management is here to stay, especially when it comes to the financial industry. The tools are likely to continue to become more important and skills in their use will increase in value. Though there are a lot of professional skills using big data to manage finances, there are still a lot of tools out there that are making it easier than ever to glean insights into your personal finances and make informed financial decisions.

Must-have Skills to Master Data Science

The need to process a massive amount of data sets is making Data Science the most-demanded job across diverse industry verticals. In today’s times, organizations are actively looking for Data Scientists.

But What does a Data Scientist do?

Data Scientist design data models, create various algorithms to extract the data the organization needs, and then they analyze the gathered data and communicate the data insights with the business stakeholders.

If you are looking forward to pursuing a career in Data Science, then this blog is for you 🙂

Data Scientists often come from many different educational and work experience backgrounds but few skills are common and essential.

Let’s have a look at all the essential skills required to become a Data Scientist:

  1. Multivariable Calculus & Linear Algebra
  2. Probability & Statistics
  3. Programming Skills (Python & R)
  4. Machine Learning Algorithms
  5. Data Visualization
  6. Data Wrangling
  7. Data Intuition

Let’s dive deeper into all these skills one by one.

 

Multivariable Calculus & Linear Algebra:

Having a solid understanding of math concepts is very helpful for a Data Scientist.

Key Concepts:

  • Matrices
  • Linear Algebra Functions
  • Derivatives and Gradient
  • Relational Algebra

Probability & Statistics:

Probability and Statistics play a major role in Data Science for estimation and prediction purposes.

Key concepts required:

  • Probability Distributions
  • Conditional Probability
  • Bayesian Thinking
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Random Variables
  • Hypothesis Testing and Regression
  • Maximum Likelihood Estimation

Programming Skills (Python & R):

Python :

Start with Python Fundamentals using a jupyter notebook, which comes pre-packaged with Python libraries.

Important Python Libraries used:

  • NumPy (For Data Exploration)
  • Pandas (For Data Exploration)
  • Matplotlib (For Data Visualization)

R:

It is a programming language and software environment used for statistical computing and graphics. 

Key Concepts required:

  • R Languages fundamentals and basic syntax
  • Vectors, Matrices, Factors
  • Data frames
  • Basic Graphics

Machine Learning Algorithms

Machine Learning is an innovative and essential field in the industry. There are quite a few algorithms out there, major ones are as follows –

  • Linear Regression
  • Logistic Regression
  • Decision Trees
  • Random Forest
  • Naïve Bayes
  • Support Vector Machines
  • Dimensionality Reduction
  • K-means
  • Artificial Neural Networks

Data Visualization:

Data visualization is very essential when it comes to analyzing a massive amount of information and data. 

To make data-driven decisions, data visualization tools, and technologies are essential in the world of Data Science.

Data Visualization tools:

  • Tableau
  • Microsoft Power Bi
  • E Charts
  • Datawrapper
  • HighCharts

Data Wrangling:

Data wrangling, this term refers to the process of cleaning and refining the messy and complex data available into a more usable format. 

It is considered one of the most crucial parts of working with data.

Important Steps to Data Wrangling:

  1. Discovering
  2. Structuring
  3. Cleaning
  4. Enriching
  5. Validating
  6. Documenting

Tools used:

  • Tabula
  • Google DataPrep
  • Data Wrangler
  • CSVkit

Data Wrangling can be done using Python and R.

Data Intuition:

Data Intuition in Data Science is an intuitive understanding of concepts. It’s one of the most significant skills required to become a Data Scientist.

It’s about recognizing patterns where none are observable on the surface.

This is something that you need to develop. It is a skill that will only come with experience.

A Data Scientist should know which Data Science methods to apply to the problem at hand.

Conclusion:

 As you can see, all these skills – from programming to algorithmic methods, work with one another to build on top of each other for gathering deeper data insights.

There are a wide number of courses available online for developing these skills and to help you become a true talent in this data industry.

Sure, this journey isn’t an easy one to follow but it’s not impossible. With sheer determination and consistency, you will be able to cross all the hurdles in your Data Science career path.

Einführung und Vertiefung in R Statistics mit den Dortmunder R-Kursen!

Im Rahmen der Dortmunder R Kurse bieten wir unsere Expertise in Schulungen für die Programmiersprache R an. Zielgruppe unserer Fortbildungen sind nicht nur Statistiker, sondern auch Anwender jeder Fachrichtung aus Industrie und Forschungseinrichtungen, die mit R ihre Daten analysieren wollen. Die Dortmunder R-Kurse werden ausschließlich von Statistikern mit langjähriger Erfahrung angeboten. Die Referenten gehören zum engsten Kreis der internationalen R-Gemeinschaft. Die angebotenen Kurse haben sich vielfach national und international bewährt.

Unsere Termine für die Online-Durchführung in diesem Jahr:

8., 9. und 10. Juni: R-Basiskurs (jeweils 9:00 – 14:00 Uhr)

22., 23., 24. und 25. Juni: R-Vertiefungskurs (jeweils 9:00 – 13:00 Uhr)

Kosten jeweils 750.00€, bei Buchung beider Kurse im Juni erhalten Sie einen Preisnachlass von 200€.

Zur Anmeldung gelangen Sie über den nachfolgenden Link:
https://www.zhb.tu-dortmund.de/zhb/wb/de/home/Seminare/Andere_Veranst/index.html

R Basiskurs

Das Seminar R Basiskurs für Anfänger findet am 8., 9. und 10. Juni 2020 statt. Den Teilnehmern wird der praxisrelevante Part der Programmiersprache näher gebracht, um so die Grundlagen zur ersten Datenanalyse — von Datensatz zu statistischen Kennzahlen und ersten Visualisierungen — zu schaffen. Anmeldeschluss ist der 25. Mai 2020.

Programm:

  • Installation von R und zugehöriger Entwicklungsumgebung
  • Grundlagen von R: Syntax, Datentypen, Operatoren, Funktionen, Indizierung
  • R-Hilfe effektiv nutzen
  • Ein- und Ausgabe von Daten
  • Behandlung fehlender Werte
  • Statistische Kennzahlen
  • Visualisierung

R Vertiefungskurs

Das Seminar R-Vertiefungskurs für Fortgeschrittene findet am 22., 23., 24. und 25. Juni (jeweils von 9:00 – 13:00 Uhr) statt. Die Veranstaltung ist ideal für Teilnehmende mit ersten Vorkenntnissen, die ihre Analysen effizient mit R durchführen möchten. Anmeldeschluss ist der 11. Juni 2020.

Der Vertiefungskurs baut inhaltlich auf dem Basiskurs auf. Es besteht aber keine Verpflichtung, bei Besuch des Vertiefungskurses zuvor den Basiskurs zu absolvieren, wenn bereits entsprechende Vorkenntnisse in R vorhanden sind.

Programm:

  • Eigene Funktionen, Schleifen vermeiden durch *apply
  • Einführung in ggplot2 und dplyr
  • Statistische Tests und Lineare Regression
  • Dynamische Berichterstellung
  • Angewandte Datenanalyse anhand von Fallbeispielen

Links zur Veranstaltung direkt:

R-Basiskurs: https://dortmunder-r-kurse.de/kurse/r-basiskurs/

R-Vertiefungskurs: https://dortmunder-r-kurse.de/kurse/r-vertiefungskurs/

Image Source: Pixabay (https://pixabay.com/photos/classroom-school-education-learning-2093744/)

The Data Surrounding Higher Education and COVID-19

Just a few short weeks ago, it would have seemed impossible for some microscopic pathogen to upend our lives as we knew it, but the novel Coronavirus has proven us breathtakingly wrong.

It has suddenly and unexpectedly changed everything we had thought was most stable and predictable in our lives, from the ways that we work to the ways we interact with one another. It’s even changed the way we learn, as colleges and universities across the nation shutter their doors.

But what is the real impact of COVID-19 on higher education? How are college students really faring in the face of the pandemic, and what can we do to support them now and in the post-pandemic life to come?

The Scramble is On

Probably the most significant challenge that schools, educators, and students alike are facing is that no one really saw this coming, so now we’re trying to figure out how to protect students’ education while also protecting their physical health. We’re having to make decisions that impact millions of students and faculty and do that with no preparation whatsoever.

To make matters worse, faculties are having to convert their classes to a forum the majority have never even used before. Before the lockdown, more than 70% of faculty in higher education had zero experience with online teaching. Now they’re being asked to convert their entire semester’s course schedule from an in-class to an online format, and they’re having to do it in a matter of weeks if not days.

For students who’ve never taken a distance learning course before, these impromptu, online, cobbled-together courses are hardly the recipe for academic success. The challenge is even greater for lab-based courses, where content mastery depends on hands-on work and laboratory applications. To solve this problem, some of the newly-minted distance ed instructors are turning to online lab simulations to help students make do until the real thing is open to them again.

Making Do

It’s not just the schools and the faculty that have been caught off guard by the sudden need to learn while under lockdown. Students are also having to hustle to make sure they have the technology they need to move their college experience online. Unfortunately, for many students, that’s not always easy, and for some, it’s downright impossible.

Studies show that large swaths of the student population: first-generation college students, community college students, immigrants, and lower-income students, typically rely on on-campus facilities to access the technology they need to do their work. When physical campuses close and the community libraries and hotspots with them, so too does the chance for many students to take their learning online.

Students in urban environments face particular risks. Even if they are able to access the technology they need to engage in distance learning, they may find it impossible to socially isolate. The need to access a hotspot or wi-fi connection might put them in unsafe proximity to other students, not to mention the millions of workers now forced to telecommute.

The Good News

America’s millions of new online learners and teachers may have a tough row to hoe, but the news isn’t all bad. Online education is by no means a new thing. By 2017, nearly 7 million students were enrolled in at least one distance education course according to a recent survey by the National Center for Education Statistics.

It isn’t as though the technology to provide a secure, user-friendly learning experience doesn’t exist. The financial industry, for example, has played a leading role in developing private, responsive, and highly-customizable technology solutions to meet practically any need a client or stakeholder may have.

The solutions used for the financial sector can be built on and modified for the online learning experience to ensure the privacy of students, educators, and institutions while providing real-time access to learning tools and content to classmates and teachers.

A New Path?

As challenging as it may be, transitioning to online learning not only offers opportunities for the present, but it may well open up new paths for the future. While our world may finally be approaching the downward slope of the curve and while we may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, until there’s a vaccine, we haven’t likely seen the last of COVID-19.

And even when we lay the COVID beast to rest, infectious disease, unfortunately, is a fact of human life. For students just starting to think about their career paths, this lockdown may well be the push they need to find a career that’s well-suited to this “new normal.”

For instance, careers in data science transition perfectly from onsite to at-home work, and as epidemiological superheroes like Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx have shown, they are often involved in important, life-saving work. These are also careers that can be pursued largely, if not exclusively, online. Whether you’re a complete newbie or a veteran to the field, there is a large range of degree and certification programs available online to launch or advance your data science career.

It might be that your college-with-corona experience is pointing your life in a different direction, toward education rather than data science. With a doctorate in education, your future career path is virtually unlimited. You might find yourself teaching, researching, leading universities or developing education policy.

What matters most is that with an EdD, you can make a difference in the lives of students and teachers, just as your teachers and administrators are making a difference in your life. You can be the guiding and comforting force for students in a time of crisis and you can use your experiences today to pay it forward tomorrow.

Interview: Künstliche Intelligenz in der Pharma-Forschung und -Entwicklung

Interview mit Anna Bauer-Mehren, Head of Data Science in der Pharma-Forschung und -Entwicklung bei Roche in Penzberg

Frau Dr. Bauer-Mehren ist Head of Data Science im Bereich Pharma-Forschung und -Entwicklung bei Roche in Penzberg. Sie studierte Bioinformatik an der LMU München und schloss ihre Promotion im Bereich Biomedizin an der Pompeu Fabra Universität im Jahr 2010 in Spanien ab. Heute befasst sie sich mit dem Einsatz von Data Science zur Verbesserung der medizinischen Produkte und Prozesse bei Roche. Ferner ist sie Speaker der Predictive Analytics World Healthcare (Virtual Conference, Mai 2020).

Data Science Blog: Frau Bauer-Mehren, welcher Weg hat Sie bis an die Analytics-Spitze bei Roche geführt?

Ehrlich gesagt bin ich eher zufällig zum Thema Data Science gekommen. In der Schule fand ich immer die naturwissenschaftlich-mathematischen Fächer besonders interessant. Deshalb wollte ich eigentlich Mathematik studieren. Aber dann wurde in München, wo ich aufgewachsen und zur Schule gegangen bin, ein neuer Studiengang eingeführt: Bioinformatik. Diese Kombination aus Biologie und Informatik hat mich so gereizt, dass ich die Idee des Mathe-Studiums verworfen habe. Im Bioinformatik-Studium ging es unter anderem um Sequenzanalysen, etwa von Gen- oder Protein-Sequenzen, und um Machine Learning. Nach dem Masterabschluss habe ich an der Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona in biomedizinischer Informatik promoviert. In meiner Doktorarbeit und auch danach als Postdoktorandin an der Stanford School of Medicine habe ich mich mit dem Thema elektronische Patientenakten beschäftigt. An beiden Auslandsstationen kam ich auch immer wieder in Berührung mit Themen aus dem Pharma-Bereich. Bei meiner Rückkehr nach Deutschland hatte ich die Pharmaforschung als Perspektive für meine berufliche Zukunft fest im Blick. Somit kam ich zu Roche und leite seit 2014 die Abteilung Data Science in der Pharma-Forschung und -Entwicklung.

Data Science Blog: Was sind die Kernfunktionen der Data Science in Ihrem Bereich der Pharma-Forschung und -Entwicklung?

Ich bin Abteilungsleiterin für Data Science von pREDi (Pharma Research and Early Development Informatics), also von Roches Pharma-Forschungsinformatik. Dieser Bereich betreut alle Schritte von der Erhebung der Daten bis zur Auswertung und unterstützt alle Forschungsgebiete von Roche, von den Neurowissenschaften und der Onkologie bis hin zu unseren Biologie- und Chemielaboren, die die Medikamente herstellen. Meine Abteilung ist für die Auswertung der Daten zuständig. Wir beschäftigen uns damit, Daten so aufzubereiten und auszuwerten, dass daraus neue Erkenntnisse für die Erforschung und Entwicklung sowie die Optimierung von pharmazeutischen Produkten und Therapien gewonnen werden könnten. Das heißt, wir wollen die Daten verstehen, interpretieren und zum Beispiel einen Biomarker finden, der erklärt, warum manche Patienten auf ein Medikament ansprechen und andere nicht.

Data Science Blog: Die Pharmaindustrie arbeitet schon seit Jahrzehnten mit Daten z. B. über Diagnosen, Medikationen und Komplikationen. Was verbessert sich hier gerade und welche Innovationen geschehen hier?

Für die medizinische Forschung ist die Qualität der Daten sehr wichtig. Wenn ein Medikament entwickelt wird, fallen sehr große Datenmengen an. Früher hat niemand dafür gesorgt, dass diese Daten so strukturiert und aufbereitet werden, dass sie später auch in der Forschung oder bei der Entwicklung anderer Medikamente genutzt werden können. Es gab noch kein Bewusstsein dafür, dass die Daten auch über den eigentlichen Zweck ihrer Erhebung hinaus wertvoll sein könnten. Das hat sich mittlerweile deutlich verbessert, auch dank des Bereichs Data Science. Heute ist es normal, die eigenen Daten „FAIR“ zu machen. Das Akronym FAIR steht für findable, accessible, interoperable und reusable. Das heißt, dass man die Daten so sauber managen muss, dass Forscher oder andere Entwickler sie leicht finden, und dass diese, wenn sie die Berechtigung dafür haben, auch wirklich auf die Daten zugreifen können. Außerdem müssen Daten aus unterschiedlichen Quellen zusammengebracht werden können. Und man muss die Daten auch wiederverwenden können.

Data Science Blog: Was sind die Top-Anwendungsfälle, die Sie gerade umsetzen oder für die Zukunft anstreben?

Ein Beispiel, an dem wir zurzeit viel forschen, ist der Versuch, so genannte Kontrollarme in klinischen Studien zu erstellen. In einer klinischen Studie arbeitet man ja immer mit zwei Patientengruppen: Eine Gruppe der Patienten bekommt das Medikament, das getestet werden soll, während die anderen Gruppe, die Kontrollgruppe, beispielsweise ein Placebo oder eine Standardtherapie erhält. Und dann wird natürlich verglichen, welche der zwei Gruppen besser auf die Therapie anspricht, welche Nebenwirkungen auftreten usw. Wenn wir jetzt in der Lage wären, diesen Vergleich anhand von schon vorhanden Patientendaten durchzuführen, quasi mit virtuellen Patienten, dann würden wir uns die Kontrollgruppe bzw. einen Teil der Kontrollgruppe sparen. Wir sprechen hierbei auch von virtuellen oder externen Kontrollarmen. Außerdem würden wir dadurch auch Zeit und Kosten sparen: Neue Medikamente könnten schneller entwickelt und zugelassen werden, und somit den ganzen anderen Patienten mit dieser speziellen Krankheit viel schneller helfen.

Data Science Blog: Mit welchen analytischen Methoden arbeiten Sie und welche Tools stehen dabei im Fokus?

Auch wir arbeiten mit den gängigen Programmiersprachen und Frameworks. Die meisten Data Scientists bevorzugen R und/oder Python, viele verwenden PyTorch oder auch TensorFlow neben anderen.  Generell nutzen wir durchaus viel open-source, lizenzieren aber natürlich auch Lösungen ein. Je nachdem um welche Fragestellungen es sich handelt, nutzen wir eher statistische Modelle- Wir haben aber auch einige Machine Learning und Deep Learning use cases und befassen uns jetzt auch stark mit der Operationalisierung von diesen Modellen. Auch Visualisierung ist sehr wichtig, da wir die Ergebnisse und Modelle ja mit Forschern teilen, um die richtigen Entscheidungen für die Forschung und Entwicklung zu treffen. Hier nutzen wir z.B. auch RShiny oder Spotfire.

Data Science Blog: Was sind Ihre größten Herausforderungen dabei?

In Deutschland ist die Nutzung von Patientendaten noch besonders schwierig, da die Daten hier, anders als beispielsweise in den USA, dem Patienten gehören. Hier müssen erst noch die notwendigen politischen und rechtlichen Rahmenbedingungen geschaffen werden. Das Konzept der individualisierten Medizin funktioniert aber nur auf Basis von großen Datenmengen. Aktuell müssen wir uns also noch um die Fragen kümmern, wo wir die Datenmengen, die wir benötigen, überhaupt herbekommen. Leider sind die Daten von Patienten, ihren Behandlungsverläufen etc. in Deutschland oft noch nicht einmal digitalisiert. Zudem sind die Daten meist fragmentiert und auch in den kommenden Jahren wird uns sicherlich noch die Frage beschäftigen, wie wir die Daten so sinnvoll erheben und sammeln können, dass wir sie auch integrieren können. Es gibt Patientendaten, die nur der Arzt erhebt. Dann gibt es vielleicht noch Daten von Fitnessarmbändern oder Smartphones, die auch nützlich wären. Das heißt, dass wir aktuell, auch intern, noch vor der Herausforderung stehen, dass wir die Daten, die wir in unseren klinischen Studien erheben, nicht ganz so einfach mit den restlichen Datenmengen zusammenbringen können – Stichwort FAIRification. Zudem reicht es nicht nur, Daten zu besitzen oder Zugriff auf Daten zu haben, auch die Datenqualität und -organisation sind entscheidend. Ich denke, es ist sehr wichtig, genau zu verstehen, um was für Daten es sich handelt, wie diese Erhoben wurden und welche (wissenschaftliche) Frage ich mit den Daten beantworten möchte. Ein gutes Verständnis der Biologie bzw. Medizin und der dazugehörigen Daten sind also für uns genauso wichtig wie das Verständnis von Methoden des Machine Learning oder der Statistik.

Data Science Blog: Wie gehen Sie dieses Problem an? Arbeiten Sie hier mit dedizierten Data Engineers? Binden Sie Ihre Partner ein, die über Daten verfügen? Freuen Sie sich auf die Vorhaben der Digitalisierung wie der digitalen Patientenakte?

Roche hat vor ein paar Jahren die Firma Flatiron aus den USA übernommen. Diese Firma bereitet Patientendaten zum Beispiel aus der Onkologie für Krankenhäuser und andere Einrichtungen digital auf und stellt sie für unsere Forschung – natürlich in anonymisierter Form – zur Verfügung. Das ist möglich, weil in den USA die Daten nicht den Patienten gehören, sondern dem, der sie erhebt und verwaltet. Zudem schaut Roche auch in anderen Ländern, welche patientenbezogenen Daten verfügbar sind und sucht dort nach Partnerschaften. In Deutschland ist der Schritt zur elektronischen Patientenakte (ePA) sicherlich der richtige, wenn auch etwas spät im internationalen Vergleich. Dennoch sind die Bestrebungen richtig und ich erlebe auch in Deutschland immer mehr Offenheit für eine Wiederverwendung der Daten, um die Forschung voranzutreiben und die Patientenversorgung zu verbessern.

Data Science Blog: Sollten wir Deutsche uns beim Datenschutz lockern, um bessere medizinische Diagnosen und Behandlungen zu erhalten? Was wäre Ihr Kompromiss-Vorschlag?

Generell finde ich Datenschutz sehr wichtig und erachte unser Datenschutzgesetz in Deutschland als sehr sinnvoll. Ich versuche aber tatsächlich auf Veranstaltungen und bei anderen Gelegenheiten Vertreter der Politik und der Krankenkassen immer wieder darauf aufmerksam zu machen, wie wichtig und wertvoll für die Gesellschaft eine Nutzung der Versorgungsdaten in der Pharmaforschung wäre. Aber bei der Lösung der Problematik kommen wir in Deutschland nur sehr langsam voran. Ich sehe es kritisch, dass viel um dieses Thema diskutiert wird und nicht einfach mal Modelle ausprobiert werden. Wenn man die Patienten fragen würde, ob sie ihre Daten für die Forschung zur Verfügung stellen möchte, würden ganz viele zustimmen. Diese Bereitschaft vorher abzufragen, wäre technisch auch möglich. Ich würde mir wünschen, dass man in kleinen Pilotprojekten mal schaut, wie wir hier mit unserem Datenschutzgesetz zu einer ähnlichen Lösung wie beispielsweise Flatiron in den USA kommen können. Ich denke auch, dass wir mehr und mehr solcher Pilotprojekte sehen werden.

Data Science Blog: Gehört die Zukunft weiterhin den Data Scientists oder eher den selbstlernenden Tools, die Analysen automatisiert für die Produkt- oder Prozessverbesserung entwickeln und durchführen?

In Bezug auf Künstliche Intelligenz (KI) gibt es ein interessantes Sprichwort: Garbage in, Garbage out. Wenn ich also keine hochqualitativen Daten in ein Machine Learning Modell reinstecke, dann wird höchstwahrscheinlich auch nichts qualitativ Hochwertiges rauskommen. Das ist immer die Illusion, die beim Gedanken an KI entsteht: Ich lass einfach mal die KI über diesen Datenwust laufen und dann wird die gute Muster erkennen und wird mir sagen, was funktioniert. Das ist aber nicht so. Ich brauche schon gute Daten, ich muss die Daten gut organisieren und gut verstehen, damit meine KI wirklich etwas Sinnvolles berechnen kann. Es reichen eben nicht irgendwelche Daten, sondern die Daten müssen auch eine hohe Qualität haben, da sie sich sonst nicht integrieren und damit auch nicht interpretieren lassen. Dennoch arbeiten wir auch mit der Vision “Data Science” daran, immer mehr zu demokratisieren, d.h. es möglichst vielen Forschern zu ermöglichen, die Daten selbst auszuwerten, oder eben gewisse Prozessschritte in der Forschung durch KI zu ersetzen. Auch hierbei ist es wichtig, genau zu verstehen, was in welchem Bereich möglich ist. Und wieder denke ich, dass die richtige Erfassung/Qualität der Daten auch hier das A und O ist und dennoch oft unterschätzt wird.

Data Science Blog: Welches Wissen und welche Erfahrung setzen Sie für Ihre Data Scientists voraus? Und nach welchen Kriterien stellen Sie Data Science Teams für Ihre Projekte zusammen?

Generell sucht Roche als Healthcare-Unternehmen Bewerber mit einem Hintergrund in Informatik und Life Sciences zum Beispiel über ein Nebenfach oder einen Studiengang wie Biotechnologie oder Bioinformatik. Das ist deswegen wichtig, weil man bei Roche in allen Projekten mit Medizinern, Biologen oder Chemikern zusammenarbeitet, deren Sprache und Prozesse man verstehen sollte. Immer wichtiger werden zudem Experten für Big Data, Datenanalyse, Machine Learning, Robotics, Automatisierung und Digitalisierung.

Data Science Blog: Für alle Studenten, die demnächst ihren Bachelor, beispielsweise in Informatik, Mathematik oder auch der Biologie, abgeschlossen haben, was würden sie diesen jungen Damen und Herren raten, wie sie einen guten Einstieg ins Data Science bewältigen können?

Generell empfehle ich jungen Absolventen herauszufinden für welchen Bereich ihr Herz schlägt: Interessiere ich mich dafür, tief in die Biologie einzusteigen und grundlegende Prozesse zu verstehen? Möchte ich nahe am Patienten sei? Ooder ist mir wichtiger, dass ich auf möglichst große Datenmengen zugreifen kann?  Je nachdem, kann ich als Einstieg durchaus Traineeprogramme empfehlen, die es ermöglichen, in mehrere Abteilungen einer Firma Einblicke zu bekommen, oder würde eher eine Promotion empfehlen. Ich denke, das lässt sich eben nicht pauschalisieren. Für die Arbeit bei Roche ist sicherlich entscheidend, dass ich mich neben der Informatik/Data Science auch für das Thema Medizin und Biologie interessiere. Nur dann kann ich in den interdisziplinären Teams einen wertvollen Beitrag leisten und gleichzeitig auch meiner Leidenschaft folgen. Ich denke, dass das auch in anderen Branchen ähnlich ist.


Frau Bauer-Mehren ist Speaker der Predictive Analytics World Healthcare zum Thema Unlocking the Potential of FAIR Data Using AI at Roche.

The Predictive Analytics World Healthcare is the premier machine learning conference for the Healthcare Industry. Due to the corona virus crisis, this conference will be a virtual edition from 11 to 12 MAY 2020.