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Beth Schultz

Analyzing the Analytics Talent Pool

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Meta S. Brown
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Re: Some thoughts...
Meta S. Brown   12/9/2012 9:47:08 PM
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Although the representation of women in computer science has been dropping since the eighties, women are far better represented in analytics professions than we are in the Talent Analytics survey. The methods that were used to invite participation in the survey were relatively informal, and as such, represented some segments of the community better than others.


I've written at some length about women in analytics in my article "The STEM Profession that Women Dominate". My sources for this piece included data from the US Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, among others. Have a look and you will see that, by many measures, women have very strong footing in the analytics professions.

 

This is not intended to pick on Talent Analytics, or their survey, but simply to remind us that what we see in our own professional silos does not necessarily reflect the world as a whole.

SethBreedlove
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Data Doctor
Re: Some thoughts...
SethBreedlove   12/6/2012 7:34:10 PM
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I'm not surprised that many analyst have master's degree.  I always said my bachelor's taught me the basic and then the master's taught me how they were all connected. 

Also, not surprised by analysts working in small groups, at least for certain period of time. Too many voices create confusion at times.  Also being an analyst can be like being a coder where one needs to shut out the world and go into the 'zone'. 

I hope to see my women analysts, because I believe diversity is important in helping perceive all the data is connected.

mnorth
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Re: Some thoughts...
mnorth   12/6/2012 3:50:44 PM
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@Beth: Your experience at conferences and professional meetings reflects my own. This was a major catalyst for the underlying theme I used for my book: Data Mining for the Masses.  "For the masses" to me meant I was trying to shake up the digital divide if I could, tear down the misconception that some disciplines are "for men".

There have been lots of efforts, formal and informal, to try to break down the gender gap, yet they persist.  Here is one effort I'm aware of at Carnegie Mellon University: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/project/gendergap/www/index.html

I totally agree about the caliber and professionalism of women in our industry, and I'd like to see more.  Will we ever see the gender gap close?

BethSchultz
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Re: Some thoughts...
BethSchultz   12/6/2012 3:37:10 PM
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Matt, I'll comment first on gender. I know overall males exceed femaies in these disciplines, and in the professional analytics ranks, as we've learned in the survey. Still, I've been impressed with the caliber of professionalism and knowledge I've seen on the conference circuit, for example, of women involved in executive analytics roles. Pamela Peele, chief analytics officer at UPMC, comes to mind, as does Amy O'Connor, senior director of big data at Nokia. Of course, these were two of maybe a grand total of something like three or four women speaking at a two-day conference with about 75 sessions. Sad. 

mnorth
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Some thoughts...
mnorth   12/6/2012 2:40:31 PM
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On gender -- This appears to mirror the gender gaps we see in academe in the Math, Information Systems, and Computer Science disciplines.  All three majors have less than 30% women, and all three majors naturally segue into analytics careers.

On age -- Analytics is a good place to work at multiple career levels (entry, mid-, later), but I see most really good analysts becoming manager and administrators by the 40-50 age range.  Why?  Money usually.  If they stay in analytics too long, the get (or fear getting) pigeon-holed.

On education -- The doctorate stat surprises me.  Most management level folks I've worked with in the past stopped at the master's level, usually MBA.  Those who had doctorates were usually not managers, but rather highly paid and specialized analysts who preferred relationships with supercomputers rather than humans.  Am I stereotyping here?

On tenure -- It seems to me that a lot of young analysts didn't start out as analysts; they started in customer service, marketing, or some such discipline.  Sometime in their first year or two on the job, somebody noticed the person was good with figures, or was good and finding and identifying trends and assigned them to an analyst project which became a job.  Thoughts?

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