What's the one thing you wish you knew?

  • 23 June 2022
  • 3 replies

Userlevel 3
Badge +1

Looking back on your career as a DS and how you got into the role, whats the one thing you wish you knew right at the start that would’ve made becoming the amazing DS you are now easier?

3 replies

Userlevel 2

Understanding that you don’t need to learn everything, nor are you expected to! 

I remember looking through lists of technologies, modelling techniques, coding best practices, thinking that I had no hope as I only knew a tiny fraction of what these job adverts seemed to require. 

There are many I still don’t know…

  1. Lots of the tech you may not even have access to as they are enterprise level tools with expensive licences. Know what the tools are, what they do and pros/cons. Most people learn how to use them on the job so knowing what they are is usually enough for entry level positions!
  2. Show curiosity and a willingness to learn. Turn a gap in your knowledge into an advantage. Pick one thing that you don’t know but are learning or want to learn, when asked about your weaknesses at interview speak about your skills in this area and lack of experience, but then go on to talk about the steps you are taking to learn and improve in this topic. 
Userlevel 4

Whatever you build, make sure you understand what BOTH the consumer of your outputs (whether that means a production model, some analysis, or anything in between) and the main project sponsor are after, and see as success. They might not be as aligned as you expect, and focussing on one over the other will result in your outputs not being as useful or impactful as they could have otherwise been. 

Userlevel 4
Badge +2

It’s still early days for my DS career, but being able to explain a model, the results and your recommendations to a stakeholder are as important (if not more so) than your technical DS skills. It’s important to work on both of these in parallel to make sure that your technical skills don’t outstrip your communication skills. It’s no use having the best and most accurate model if you can’t communicate the details effectively with your stakeholder.