Point: Data Visualization Calls for Specialization


Point / Counterpoint, Independent Thought Leader

Hyoun Park is the CEO and Founder of Amalgam Insights, a firm focused on technology and data consumption management. Over the past 20+ years, Park has been at the forefront of trends such as Moneyball, social networking, Bring Your Own Device, the Subscription Economy, and video as the dominant use of Internet bandwidth. Park has a soft spot in his heart for new and innovative technology startups and is dedicated to supporting greater gender and cultural diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Park has an MBA from Boston University and a bachelor's degree in Women's and Gender Studies from Amherst College.

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balance
  • 3/19/2013 8:17:02 AM
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Nice post. Being able to interpret statistics and data is essential, but so is being able to communicate the results. If one person can do both, then so be it. Ideally, data scientists and professionals have both clubs in the bag.

Re: balance
  • 3/19/2013 9:58:47 AM
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How challenging is it to find someone with the brain of an Analyst and the soul of an artist?

Re: balance
  • 3/19/2013 11:29:52 AM
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I would venture to guess that it is extremely difficult.

Re: balance
  • 3/19/2013 4:12:58 PM
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Seems to me that the good analytical professionals have always been able to tell a story with the data or about the data. But the visual element adds a whole other dimension to that!

Re: balance
  • 3/19/2013 6:25:47 PM
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"How challenging is it to find someone with the brain of an Analyst and the soul of an artist?"

 

It's not easy.  I've been trying to balance that line for decades as a women's studies major, studio musician and a former DBA turned industry analyst, but I'd be the first to admit that my skills in data are more towards the analytical side than the visual side.  Although I can quickly identify key data points that are important, I've never been very good at creating immersive visualizations, which is part of why I'm convinced that data analysis and effective visualizations are two separate skills.  The few who can do both are worth their weight in gold. 

Re: balance
  • 3/19/2013 6:57:20 PM
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What an interesting background you have Hyoun

Re: balance
  • 3/19/2013 9:18:07 PM
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@Hyoun, do you agree, though, that every data scientist should have solid instructions in visualization and communication skills, and given their fair shot at becoming visualization masters? In other words, though analysts who are also master visualists are rare, it doesn't hurt to turn over every stone.

Re: balance
  • 3/19/2013 10:26:23 PM
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To be honest I am really struggling with this concept of data visualization, I can understand how it is beneficial to those who don't want to be bothered with the details of data but how can you trust the visualization is valid ? I guess we do this all the time in one way or another, but from analyst perspective I dobn't understand the argument.

But more to Hyoun's point, I don't think we need to make a special title for this function because it is something someone in a team will have some ability to carry out.

Re: balance
  • 3/19/2013 10:27:56 PM
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@Noreen   I want to say it is not that difficult, but maybe it is.

Visual art
  • 3/20/2013 3:35:02 AM
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I think a data scientist should be good in: Computer Science (coding)/Big data analysis/Graphic design/and Human-Computer interraction (HCI). This should be the data superman the world can ever have. I find it strange if you say "a traditional data scientist" yet even this name has not picked up yet, meaning that the field is still new and exciting! Email: aggreymutimba@yahoo.co.uk

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