Reflection on Graduate Attributes
ATTRIBUTE 1: Complex Systems Thinking
I have more than 10 years of experience in analysing business processes within corporations so I am quite comfortable with this attribute. Part of my work is to be able to get an end-end view of a process. Business processes can go through different departments and a multitude of systems. I usually past quite a lot of time in mapping the process at different level of complexities.
Managing the Data Scientist project isn’t much different except the fact it can become quite complex to map all the attributes of some data. So one topic I need to work on is about data management and the strategy of creating values from data. I need to get a better understanding of the differences between database, datawarehouse or datalake.
ATTRIBUTE 2: Creative, Analytical and Rigorous Sense Making
I am ok with the analytical and rigorous sense making sides of this attribute. I am less comfortable with the creative one. I am a very logical person and rely heavily on facts so I am definitely not a very creative person 🙂 But I can facilitate workgroups such as brainstorming or kaizen session to help people explore new solutions and think out of the box. During the first semester at the beginning of any project I always started by organising a brainstorming session with my team for understanding the problem we need to solve and define our a solution plan.
At work I tend to rely on data quite a lot in order to understand where a business process is “broken” or which areas need to be improved. I always challenge “guts feeling” assumptions or at least I try to verify them through data before taking them for granted. Relying on existing data to improve a business process is for me the less risky and the most efficient way to do it.
ATTRIBUTE 3: Create Value in Problem Solving and Inquiry
Problem solving is definitely my cup of tea. Analysing and breaking down issues, finding root causes, define proper and adequate solutions and monitor and control the new state is part my day to day activities.
I am quite comfortable with all the different frameworks such as Waterfall, Lean Six Sigma or CRISP-DM methodologies. They all provide a clear end-end view on how to handle different types of projects. All of them highlight the importance of understanding properly the business requirements and make sure a project does generate the expected values and benefits. From experience the upstream part of a project is always the most critical. If you have scope it properly and did the correct analysis, the right solutions will come by themselves and it is just a matter of implementing them.
Also one of my strength is my flexibility to adapt myself to any change that can occur. In general project never goes without any unplanned hiccups and you need to be agile in order to react quickly while a situation changes or if a new issue occurs but you still have to keep in mind what are the objectives and how you will get there.
ATTRIBUTE 4: Persuasive and Robust Communication
This is probably the main attribute I need to keep working on. The reason why is that English isn’t my strongest language. For any kind of project it is extremely important to be understood properly. You may have the right answers but if you can not convince the other parties then all the work you did can be totally useless. I did appreciate quite a lot the feedback of the Self Quantified assignment during the first semester as I wasn’t fully paying attention at details such as the titles on the graph or using a meaningful unit of measure. This is something I will keep working on.
On the other hand I have no issue in presenting in front of an audience. It does require me a bit of preparation before but I am not afraid at all to be in the “front line”.
ATTRIBUTE 5: Ethical Citizenship and Leadership
Thanks to DSI class, I am more aware about all the implications related to data privacy. It is absolutely critical that any data scientist takes ownership and feels responsible on how to handle ethically any kind of data. More than ever data privacy should be one of the core human rights and it needs to be taken into account at any step of a data science project.
Funny enough I wouldn’t have rated myself as a strong leader but from the point of view of the different teammates I work with, they all think this is actually my key strength. Maybe this is due to my experience in project management. Anyway one of the key area I want to work on is the fact I tend to take the lead not at the beginning of a project but a few steps later. For instance at the forming stage of a group I will usually stay “behind” and observe first. So I really need to force myself to “step in” a bit quicker.