So why this blog? And why now?

In the constantly mobile world we live in, there isn’t a single facet of life that isn’t dominated by data nowadays. We are absorbing, digesting, interpreting, leveraging, and producing an infinite amount of data on a daily basis – consciously and unconsciously – and I am fascinated by the possibilities this exchange of information presents. I have always had an appreciation for the vastness of knowledge humans have accumulated over time, but have only recently understood the true potential of this information in advancing our capabilities as a species.

As a student in analytics with a focus on data science, I spend most of my time delving into this potential and discovering my role in expanding it. I’ve spent 2 semesters taking classes in this field and to say that it has been challenging would be an understatement. Before I started as a graduate student in business analytics, my undergraduate background was non-technical but still very focused on data: accounting and finance. The biggest roadblock when starting on this path was getting up to speed on the various tools for data storage, mining, cleaning, exploration, and visualization out there. I was genuinely interested in what these tools could do and their real life implications, but not being able to wrangle them to create meaningful work from the get-go made me doubt whether I was cut out for this field.

As ridiculous as it sounds to hold this expectation for oneself,  I have been used to understanding concepts and being able to apply them on the first introduction and data science offered a unique challenge by proving this wrong. I noticed I was more likely than not to fail at whatever I was working on on the first try. Fear of continued failure after a string of them made me averse to challenges and continuing to learn outside the classroom (which is SO important as an analytics student, but that can be its own post). After a lot of reflection and goal setting (as is the ~trend~ this time of year), one of the things I want to work on in 2019 is facing my fear of failure and truly understanding what it is that makes me passionate about data science.

I want to use this blog as a way to learn about and share new developments in data science. I’d like to see personal growth in the field, test and review various tools, share projects that I’m proud of and maybe some that I’m not so proud of, marvel at how data plays such a major role in our everyday lives, debate the ethics behind the use of data, share any valuable insights I gain in the classroom or at seminars, showcase and collaborate with like-minded thinkers, and maybe even get to know myself better as a person.

This is the first time in a while that I have focused on learning for the sake of learning and I am so excited to share this journey with you. In addition to posts about data science you can expect sneak peeks into my life and other things I am passionate about. One of the most striking things I’ve noticed about the data science community online is how welcoming and open it is to all individuals. Everyone is truly themselves and they strive to make data ~cool~ by using it to shine light on their personal areas of interest — like this post on Kanye, or this reflection on whether 2018 was a “happy” year. I want to build proficiency in this field while adding value to the community like these bloggers and hopefully emerge a better version of myself in the process.