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Dear DSC Member,
Some People Call Me the Data Wrangler, Yeah, Some Call Me the Gangster of Prep

The magic of analysis can’t happen without effective sourcing, prepping, and exploration of data. Real-world data doesn’t come neatly prepackaged and ready to use, though. It’s raw, messy, sparse, and spread across a million disparate sources. Dirty, poorly formatted data can instantly sink even the best analytic and machine learning models. What about when you have gaps in the data you need? What do you do then? 

The experts at TDWI Accelerate are coming together to share practical insights to hone your data sourcing, preparation, exploration, and analytic modeling skills. 

Are We Data Scientists or Data Janitors?
Frank Evans, Data Scientist, Exaptive 
This talk centers on best practices and methods for wrangling data, including reformatting to make data more flexible and easier to work with. The talk also focuses on methods for feature engineering to derive from your raw data those elements and structures that represent exactly what you wish to test. Most projects are won or lost at the wrangling and feature engineering stage; the right tools can make all the difference. 
Sourcing Data: Finding and Filling Data Gaps 

John Akred, Founder and CTO, Silicon Valley Data Science
It's a law of nature that 80% of data science is gathering and preparing the data in the first place. This talk will focus on the first part—how to locate data in your organization, determine if it's fit for purpose, and what to do if you have gaps. John Akred will speak from his years of experience applying data science in industry, offer a framework for evaluating data, and share pragmatic advice for navigating the political and technical aspects of sourcing your data.

Exploring Data Like an Explorer—A Guide to Tools, Techniques, and Philosophy
Wes Bernegger, Data Explorer, Periscopic 
The road to uncovering insight and narratives within your data begins with exploration, and although numerous tools now exist to help you analyze and visualize your data, the process is still largely undefined and can be intimidating. However, if we think like an old-fashioned explorer—if we plan our voyage and are prepared to improvise with relentless curiosity—we can often come away with unexpected discoveries and have more fun along the way. 

This session will reinforce the value of visualization in exploratory data analysis and lay out a system for the data exploration practice. We’ll walk through the entire exploration process: from wrangling and tidying to visualization, through many rounds of iteration, stopping along the way to examine a few use cases and valuable tools to help you find your way in unfamiliar terrain. 
In-Database and Distributed Analytics with R
Debraj Guha Thakurta, Senior Data and Applied Scientist, Microsoft Corporation 
R is one of the most widely used languages in the data science, statistical, and machine learning community. Although R has a large amount of packages and functions for statistics and machine learning, many data scientists and developers today do not have the familiarity and expertise to scale their R analytics or create predictive solutions in R within databases. In this talk, we will show how to create and deploy predictive analytics solutions in R using distributed computing and database environments. 
The time is now. The demand for skills in analytics and data science has reached an all-time high. Everywhere, organizations are building advanced analytics practices to drive business value, improve operations, enrich customer experiences, and so much more.
Build your expertise. Drive your organization’s success. Advance your career.
Hone your data sourcing, data preparation, analytic modeling, and analysis skills. Increase the impact of your insights through effective data storytelling. Learn More
Further your model building skill set and better understand model deployment best practices from the industry’s most talented data scientists. Maximize the business impact of your models and applications. Learn More
Learn what’s new (and what’s next) in advanced analytics. Connect with peers. Be inspired.Learn More
Gain critical insights on business drivers and end-user needs so that you can build a world class advanced analytic ecosystems and apps (not matter what tool or technology you choose). Learn More
The Analytics Accelerator Award

Have you completed an analytics or data science project that you think is a game changer? Would you like some recognition for the mythical data beast that you have become?

If you think you've got what it takes, then saddle up and submit your entry for TDWI’s Analytics Accelerator Award. You could become TDWI’s first Data Unicorn! This is definitely a crown you’ll be proud to wear.

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