An easy way to remember: Vision, Mission & Strategy

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As an analyst or data scientist, its important to have a holistic view of the org that you support. This is important because it will help you in metrics design, project prioritization among other things!

Also, there’s a lot written on what is vision, mission & strategy and the difference between each of these. So this post is not a recap of that but I wanted to share an easy way to remember them:

Just map the three things as follows:

Vision -> What?

Mission -> Why?

Strategy -> How?

If you are able to answer:

  1. What does your org do?

  2. Why do they do that?

  3. How do they do that?

Then you just came up with Vision, mission & strategy.

Hope that helps!

Springboard Data Analytics for Business Office Hours

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I was invited to lead the office hours for the Springboard’s Data Analytics for Business course and I wanted to share the recording with you all:

CLICK HERE

I answer following questions during the office hours:

  • What tools have I used in my career for Data Analytics & Data Science?
  • What are the different analysis/modeling that you do?
  • What are the biggest challenges that I found when I got in this Industry?
  • Being data-driven is not binary but it’s a scale — how do you do analyze what is their current level and how do you make a company more data-driven?
  • What is the challenge for newcomers in this industry? And what are the changes coming in next few years?
  • Which tools are widely used today? Which industry uses which tools heavily?
  • How do you verify “what’s next”? How do you verify that your forecast is good enough?

Related Post: $100 Discount Code For Springboard

News: PASS outstanding Volunteer award & stepping down as Business Analytics Virtual Group Co-leader

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I am honored to get the PASS outstanding volunteer award again for June 2017! It’s been so much fun helping grow the chapter from 1K to 10K members within last 4 years — the PASS HQ Team & Dan English (Group Lead) were great to work with and there’s so much more growth left for the next few years! The Group was recently classified as a “tier-1” group and got new sponsors which mean that group has some funding to pursue paid growth opportunities that weren’t accessible before.

Outstanding Volunteer Award PASS

URL: http://www.pass.org/Community/GetInvolved/Volunteers/OutstandingVolunteers.aspx

So since the group has the perfect platform to continue growing and we have a really good process in place to keep our growth flywheel running, I figured it’s a great time to step down. Over the past few years, my career moved me from Business Intelligence -> Analytics -> Data Science and along with that, I have slowly moved away from Microsoft-centric architectures too. I started out working for a Microsoft Gold Partner and then worked for an Open-source heavy shop at a startup-mode organization in silicon valley and now I work in an organization that uses a little bit of everything. Something like best of both worlds — and so there’s a much bigger gap now between where my career is taking me and the mission of the business analytics virtual group. They don’t perfectly align anymore and even though it’s a very rewarding experience, after some reflection, I figured the group deserves a leader whose mission aligns better than mine does.

Thank you PASS for the opportunity!

And there’s an open position for new volunteers on the Virtual group and so if you like to be involved, reach out to Dan English through the group’s website: http://bavc.pass.org/

What is the difference between courses offered by Springboard vs datacamp vs dataquest? Which is better?

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I am a data-camp subscriber + mentor w/ springboard + completed free-content on data-quest so familiar w/ all three products in some way.

You need two things to have a successful career:

  1. Strong Foundation
  2. Continuous learning

Let’s talk about Continuous Learning first:

In a field that’s as dynamic as data science, you should always be learning! It could be through your projects at your work, side-projects or online resources.

I would categorize both data-camp and data-quest under this and are great platforms for continuous learning. I am a subscriber on DataCamp and it’s a great platform to just dive in, do some hands-on exercises and learn something new. I love it! I have heard equally positive things about DataQuest so if you are already working in the Industry as a Data Scientist and just want to get deeper technically, then go for these platforms!

Here’s a 2-day All-access pass for DataCamp: 2 Day Gift Card

Now Let’s talk about Strong Foundation:

You need a strong foundation to get hired as Data Scientist. You would do that by typically having a relevant college degree. But:

  1. A lot of people don’t have relevant college degrees OR
  2. They graduated a few years back and are looking to do a career transition now OR
  3. They are not willing to go back to do multi-year college programs focused on data science

If that’s the case then there’s a new approach in the market where you attend these “boot camps” — you still need some foundation skills like for example: math/programming/statistics to be eligible for Data science boot camps and if you have those basic skills then you can go through these boot camps. There’s a bunch of them out there. Just search for “data science boot camps”. Springboard is one of them and I have heard nothing but positive things about them — just like I have about DataCamp & DataQuest. I have personally mentored 6 students so far and all them were looking for a career transition and had nothing but positive things to say! That’s just my empirical data though, you should do a trial w/ them and/or check out their job guarantee through their career track if that is important to you. But either ways, it’s a “Bootcamp” offering so it has regular mentor calls/check-in’s, projects, career-coaches, non-technical material like resume tips to give you a structured approach to everything that you might need to get hired as a data scientist — You can expect intense guided learning over a short period of time. The Bootcamp approach is different than self-learning and self-paced approach by DataCamp & DataQuest.

Here’s a $100 discount code for Springboard: Springboard: The best way to learn Data Science and UX Design skills online. (If you prefer to not use the referral link, just search for “springboard data science”)

The World is not binary!

I am not saying that you can’t break into Data Science with just DataCamp and DataQuest — you would need to complement it w/ other resources and put more effort to cover everything that you may need. With enough motivation, it could be done for sure! Depending on how fast you want to break into data science + how much time you can invest in figuring out the right resources are two of the biggest factor to determine if you need to go through a Bootcamp.

Conclusion:

If you are already working as a data scientist, DataCamp and DataQuest are great for continuous learning! If you are new to this and don’t have a relevant education background then boot camps like Springboard are a great choice.

Hope that helps!

VIEW QUESTION ON QUORA

Get $100 off any Springboard course

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It’s been close to a year that I have mentored students on the Springboard platform — I found that It’s a great way for students to accelerate their learning through mentorship & structured course material — And so If you considering data analytics or data science courses, I would recommend to check out Springboard as well!

And Here’s the link to get $100 discount code for any Springboard Course:

$100 OFF DATA SCIENCE COURSES

Here are some benefits:

  1. Learn online, with 1-on-1 mentorship from an industry expert. Get mentored by top industry experts, from companies like Google, Facebook, and Airbnb.
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2. Graduate with an online portfolio of projects that will help you land your dream job.

Springboard $100 Discount

3. Join a community: network with peers, and get the support you need from student advisors.

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4. Learn with the best. Our alumni work at Boeing, Amazon, and Pandora, and rate us 4.9 stars (of 5).

Springboard $100 Discount

SPRINGBOARD $100 DISCOUNT CODE: SK1U8

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.

#PowerBI idea: Enable #PowerQuery Excel add-in for Mac/Apple/iOS

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As a data professional, you would invariably end up spending a lot of time on data cleaning & transformation and a lot of times, you might be doing your work in Excel — if so, then check out Power Query if you haven’t already! It will save you a LOT of time and unlock Jedi powers that you didn’t know you had!

BUT…

if you are using a Mac — and there’s a lot of data scientist and data analyst who are on this platform then you are unfortunately out of luck! So for Mac users out there, I had shared this feedback which has 50 comments & 337 votes (as of 6/16/17) on the official Power BI ideas site; If you are one of the Mac users, then I encourage you to check it out and vote! Microsoft does take it seriously and their roadmap is heavily influenced by ideas site.

URL: https://ideas.powerbi.com/forums/265200-power-bi-ideas/suggestions/7157571-enable-power-query-excel-add-in-for-mac-apple-ios

Power Query Excel Microsoft

 

Rumsfeld on Analytics:

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I loved the “Donald Rumsfeld on Analytics” framework shared by Avinash Kaushik in his strata talk. Even though the talk was from 5 years back, this is still relevant today! As a data analyst/data science professional, we should strive to automate the fact-checking and reporting as much as we can, so that we can focus on the good stuff: validating (or invalidating) intuition and exploring unknowns!

Rumsfeld on Analytics

And if you like frameworks to structure your thoughts, you might also like the What-why-What’s-Next (4W) framework to test your analytics maturity here — this is important because if your organization is not mature, you might get stuck in data puking (reporting/fact-checking) and never get to the good stuff that Avinash talks about in the framework above. So figure out the analytics maturity of your organization and then take steps to help your organization improve.

-Paras