Many traditional businesses hate to fail. They embrace concepts such as Fail Fast in public, but deep inside their hearts, they are scared to fail. Failure is what gives corporate employees sleepless nights. In fact, many corporate initiatives fail, such as data science projects, for example. Why is failure so unloved, and what can we do about it? We have to change the way we think about failure.
Failure is not an event, it's a process.
This distinction is…Continue
Added by Rafael Knuth on February 13, 2020 at 6:51am — No Comments
Why do we need Learning Sprints?
Virtually every company is under pressure to transform their business in order to sustain in the future. As part of these efforts, they are hiring data scientists and engineers, data analysts, and they are making huge investments into cloud, big data technologies and AI, amongst others. Virtually all employees need to unlearn what they have assumed to be true for decades, and they have to acquire new skills. Time and money are the big…
Added by Rafael Knuth on February 10, 2020 at 10:00am — No Comments
Quite often, non-technical executives have difficulties understanding what programming, on a very fundamental level, is all about. Because of that knowledge-gap, they tend to hire and overburden experienced data professionals with tasks which they are hopelessly overqualified for. Such as, for example, doing ad-hoc SQL queries on CRM data: "You're the go-to-guy for all things data, and we need the results for the board meeting tomorrow." That's a quite humbling and frustrating…Continue
Added by Rafael Knuth on December 5, 2019 at 6:30am — No Comments
Over the last few years, Excel has been redesigned from the ground up. Currently, Microsoft is making the new Excel core-features available to every user, regardless of your Office 365 license. Thanks to the Microsoft naming conventions, it is easy to confuse the new features with existing ones. That being said, Power Query and Power Pivot are not the same things as Pivot Tables, which you have likely been using for years.…Continue
Added by Rafael Knuth on November 28, 2019 at 6:10am — No Comments
Many executives struggle to make sense of machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL). Having a pragmatic relationship with technology, executives need to know on a very fundamental level: "What problems do ML & DL try to solve?" A simple, high-level answer to that question is: "It's all about building systems that do certain things better than humans, with as little intervention by humans as possible." That being said, the simplest way to distinguish between ML and its branch DL…Continue
Added by Rafael Knuth on November 19, 2019 at 12:30pm — No Comments
Human and artificial intelligence compares just as well as oranges and apples do. Nonetheless, the broader public does precisely that, including a vast portion of businesses and organizations. Hence, let's do a thought experiment: If we were to compare human and artificial intelligence, how would we go about it? And what would be the possible conclusions from that comparison?…Continue
Added by Rafael Knuth on October 14, 2019 at 9:30am — No Comments
Let me start off with a few common assumptions about the subject of this write up "Four Powerful People Skills For Data Scientists", and my take on each of them based on my experience and observations.
1. Common Assumption: People skills are just "fluffy" soft skills
Soft skills are often referred to as "the fluffy stuff". People skills in particular, top the list of fluffiness, in many people's…
Added by Rafael Knuth on June 26, 2019 at 4:30am — No Comments
What makes a great CEO?
First of all, the answer to that question depends on who raises it: An investor will likely come up with a different answer than an employee. What if you asked a CEO? He might give you his definition. Ask another CEO, and he will likely give you a slightly or even completely different view on this subject.
Ask five people, and you will get five answers
It seems nearly impossible to find an…Continue
Added by Rafael Knuth on February 21, 2019 at 5:00am — No Comments
Electronic spreadsheets have been around for nearly 40 years now. They were invented by Bob Frankston and Dan Bricklin, founders of VisiCalc, and I had a chance to chat with both gentlemen a couple of months ago. I highly recommend watching this TED talk with Dan Bricklin:
It's important to understand for…Continue
Added by Rafael Knuth on December 13, 2018 at 2:30am — No Comments
My writing engagement at Data Science Central came up unexpectedly. Back in August 2018, I stumbled upon an excellent write-up on Data Science Central. The author, Bill Vorhies, shared his thoughts on career transitioning toward data science. I wrote him an email, complimenting him on his blog post, and I dropped a few lines about my own transition. Here's his response:
"Congratulations on your remarkable journey. Perhaps you’d like to write one or more articles…Continue
Over the last years, my small business has undergone a digital transformation from a marketing service company to a data literacy consultancy. What does a data literacy consultancy do? We teach business users within large enterprises to work with data, and we help them acquire the necessary skills from state of the art Excel to Python, querying structured, semi-structured and unstructured databases, as well as math, statistics, and probability.
The short answer is: "No."
I started teaching myself programming in my 40s, and I am a strong advocate that everyone should learn to code. Even if you have no intent to become a developer or a full-stack data scientist, coding teaches you a couple valuable lessons:
I am an advertising and marketing veteran who is currently transitioning towards data science. The purpose of this write-up is to give you some baseline understanding of marketing, grounded in my professional experience. I am hoping that my write-up will help you gain a bigger share of voice when working with advertising & marketing teams. Eventually, you might ask bigger questions and thus move beyond just optimizing their work.
I will expand this post into a…Continue
English is becoming the official language in the global business world, being currently spoken by approximately 1.75 billion people worldwide according to Harvard Business Review. While English is the fastest spreading language in human history, a significant proportion of businesses are still resistant to giving up…Continue
Latest update: November 16, 2018
Microsoft Excel has been around for over 30 years now, and chances are it's not going to change in the foreseeable future. In fact, Excel is facing immense competition from challengers such as Google Spreadsheets and well-funded start-ups like Airtable, which are both going after Excel's massive user base of approximately 500 million worldwide. Tech-savvy small and mid-sized businesses embrace innovative alternatives to Excel. However,…Continue
At the time of writing this post, I am nine months into my learning sabbatical. You can read about my journey here: “Career Transition Towards Data Analytics & Science”. Today I will share with you how you can plan your own, unique learning sabbatical, regardless of its scope and duration –…Continue
In 1992, I entered the job market and landed a job as an advertising copywriter for McDonald’s. I was tasked with ideating radio, TV and print advertisements to curb burger, fries and soft drink sales. The internet did not exist in the public domain back then, and my first laptop was actually a mechanical type writer. Around 2000, I became a freelance marketing manager, working for small and mid sized businesses. At that time, my English was not good enough to work for companies outside of…Continue