Data Science is greater than the sum of its parts

Good post by Kirk Borne. If  you have

  • domain expertise (a),
  • business acumen (b),
  • analytic skills (c),
  • hacking skills (d),
  • coding skills (e),
  • and selling skills - to sell your data science product to your boss (f),

then your potential or value (v) is equal to

v = a * b * c* d * e * f > a + b + c + d + e + f


  • a, b, c, d, e, f are your individual scores in each category: these are number between 1.431 and 1.782, with 1.431 meaning that you don't know anything, and 1.782 meaning that you are an expert for the category in question.
  • v is always above s = a + b + c + d + e + f, and v = s if and only if all individual scores are equal to 1.431 (that is, if you know absolutely nothing)
  • v is as high as 3 times s, and this maximum happens when all individual scores are equal to 1.782 (that is, if you are a world master in all 6 categories)

This is because any time you face a new challenging problem, all your brain synapses [from (a) to (f)] are firing at once to find a solution, and information moves in your brain at the speed of light, from (a) to (f), to solve the problem. Because only one brain is involved, it is getting processed much faster; it is just like real-time versus back-end processing. 

Few people master everything from (a) to (f). Those who do are typically entrepreneurs, but the more you have, the higher the value that you can deliver. These skills are not additive, they are multiplicative when found in a single individual - and typically, it translates in a revenue growing exponentially depending on how many of them you have. Many of these skills can be learned by most people - even advanced data science can be learned by a kid (see also this article). I will write more on this subject in the coming weeks, to help some of our younger readers boost their career.


  • You might want to use an adjusted v denoted as v*, with v* = (v - 8.586) / 0.73, so that the adjusted value is zero if you know nothing, and still equal to 3 times s at its maximum. Technically though, your value should be above zero as you can learn even if you start from scratch.
  • The number x = 1.431 is solution of x^6 = 6 * x, while y = 1.782 is solution of y^6 = (6 * y) * 3

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