DSA In the News

September 24, 2017 Business Insider article What it's like to have the best job in America right now:

"We're creating a better future," he said. "That's what I'm so excited about. But I'm also a realist and I realize it could go the other way. But I think if we do this right, we're going to significantly improve the lives of the majority of people on Earth."

"Walker said it's important people realize that, while data science can provide a competitive edge in the business world, it's unrealistic to expect instant results."

"The road there is like the road to climbing Everest," he said. "It's tough. If you want to climb Mount Everest, you can do it. But you're going to need to start training every day."

"Many data scientists hold master's degrees and PhDs in some scientific field. Safford and Walker said data scientists should have graduate-level experience, although they added there are always exceptions to the rule."

"Data science is a wonderful field, but you can't just take a few-month bootcamp and expect to come out and be a data scientist," [Data Science Association founder and president Michael] Walker said. "Maybe you'll be a good analyst. It takes graduate-school-level training."


November 26, 2015 InformationWeek article 8 Ways You're Failing At Data Science:

"It's really hard to get valuable, actionable insights out of data. You've got to build a team and use the scientific method," said Michael Walker, founder and president of the Data Science Association. "There are right ways and wrong ways to do it, and I think a lot of companies and governments are doing it the wrong way."


September 25, 2015 InformationWeek article Big Data Ethics: 8 Key Facts To Ponder:

Although obvious offenses such as fraud are clearly unethical, there is a lot of gray area when it comes to the collection, use, and analysis of data. Ethical guidelines, laws, statutes, and regulations may draw many lines. Even so, questionable situations can arise at various stages of the data life cycle that can confound reasonable people and expose their organizations to risks. Knowing that, the Data Science Association has established the Data Science Code of Professional Conduct to help data scientists navigate tricky situations.

"Right now, we're just giving guidance. It's to help you, as a data scientist, do the right thing," said Michael Walker, cofounder and president of the Data Science Association. "Their clients or parent organizations can use them in tricky situations where they're going to hurt people at the macro level and hurt people at the micro level." While the Data Science Association is not enforcing its guidelines, it plans to do so in the future.


May 21, 2015 InformationWeek article 6 Characteristics Of Data-Driven Rock Stars:

They Try To Avoid Confirmation Bias

Data can be used to prove anything, especially a person's opinion. Data-driven rock stars are aware of confirmation bias, so they are more likely to try to avoid it.

[...] The Data Science Association's Data Science Code of Professional Conduct has a rule dedicated specifically to evidence, data quality, and evidence quality. Several of its subsections are relevant to confirmation bias. Among them are failing to "disclose any and all data science results or engage in cherry-picking" and failing to "disclose failed experiments or disconfirming evidence known to the data scientist to be directly adverse to the position of the client."


March 7, 2015 Chicago Sun-Time article Women at work: Data mining among hottest professions:

Data scientists are employed in a wide range of fields. They're helping candidates get elected, the Federal Reserve Board decide monetary policy, and physicians make better treatment decisions basedon personalized medicine, said Michael Walker, president of the Data Science Association.

[...] "This is going to continue to be a hot area because we’re going to need people to interpret meaning from the data using scientific methods," Walker said. "We're coming out with new technology that's becoming cheaper. There's more abundant data that’s allowing organizations, both public and private to be able to use this data to get a competitive advantage or create some sort of value. It's difficult to do, as some organizations are finding out."


January 8, 2015 Pivotal blog Pivotal's Top Predictions for Data Science and Big Data in 2015 linking to the DSA Code of Conduct:

Pivotal sees particular potential for ethical challenges with the rise of the Internet of Things, but the risk doesn’t stop there or with consumer-facing services. In the next year, as the market explores ethical guidelines we will see more of these types of failures, and collectively learn from them.


December 17, 2014 Wall Street Journal article The Joys and Hype of Software Called Hadoop (free mirror) quoting Michael Walker, president of the Data Science Association:

"The dirty secret is that a significant majority of big-data projects aren't producing any valuable, actionable results," said Michael Walker, a partner at Rose Business Technologies, which helps enterprises build big-data systems.


July 10, 2014 MapR blog Raising the Standard in the Big Data Analytics Professions

The Data Science Association has formalized a code of professional conduct for data scientists.


June 19, 2014 press release VelociData President Ron Indeck to Speak at University of Colorado on Next-Generation Big Data Infrastructure Requirements

The event is entitled “Big Data Business Advantage with GPUs and FPGAs for Real-time Ingest Processing.” It will be held Wednesday, June 25 6:00-9:30 PM on the University of Colorado Denver’s Auraria Campus at North Classroom Building #1539, which is located at 1200 Larimer St. For more information, contact Michael Walker.


December 16, 2013 blog at VentureBeat Marketers, take note: Some data scientists want ‘big compute’

Michael Malak, an engineer working with data at Time Warner Cable and a board member of the Data Science Association, identified a few specific hardware components that could help data scientists do better big compute: graphic-processing units (GPUs) and random-access memory (RAM).


November 25, 2013 blog at Columbia University by Dr. Kayur Patel Data Science Ethics

These lapses put the ethical considerations front and center, as data science rises in popularity. Some groups of data scientists have created codes of conduct. For example, the Data Science Association has a code of conduct. The code of conduct covers a number of things from defintions of common terms to ethical responsibilities of data scientists.


November 20, 2013 presentation at IBM Developer Days 2013 in Zurich, Switzerland

The Data Science Association defined in October 2013 the terms 'data science' and 'data scientists'...


November 4, 2013 ComputerWorld Big data blues: The dangers of data mining

Michael Walker says that big data professionals should adopt a code of ethics. A managing partner at Rose Business Technologies, a Denver-based systems integrator and IT services provider, Walker has drafted a 12-page data science code of professional conduct covering everything from the role of data scientists to their daily responsibilities.


October 9, 2013 InformationWeek 5 Data Science Sins To Beware

...maybe it is time for a dose of data science atonement, particularly if you're guilty of any of the five deadly sins summarized below.

According to Michael Walker, founder and president of the nonprofit Data Science Association, a professional organization of data scientists with more than 500 members, these big-data sins are all too common. In fact, the Association's recently penned Code of Professional Conduct is designed to establish a set of ethical standards for the burgeoning data-science industry.


October 7, 2013 FierceBigData Data scientists create code of professional conduct

Calling what's been happening lately in big data "data science malpractice" is a bit of an understatement. Given the extent of absolute and universal disregard for individual privacy, many would dub it more criminal-like than simple malpractice. But in any case, and much to their credit, a group of data scientists have joined forces to create a code of professional conduct to combat the dark side of big data.

The group I am referring to is the Data Science Association, a Denver based non-profit started just two months ago. Already it has 500 members.

"Things were really getting out of control in terms of the definition of 'data science,'" said Michael Walker, president of the Association, in InformationWeek.


October 7, 2013 InformationWeek Data Scientists Create Code Of Professional Conduct

The Data Science Association is a non-profit organization with more than 500 members, even though it's only about 2 months old. Based in Denver, Colorado, its mission is to define the term "data science" and the duties and ethical responsibilities of the people who call themselves data scientists, according to founder and president Michael Walker.


September 25, 2013 Dataversity Data Scientists Need a Professional Code of Conduct 

Authored by Michael Walker, a Denver-based system integrator, the piece lists the various things that data scientists must intentionally avoid doing in order to earn the public’s continuing trust.


August 8, 2013 Data Informed An Argument for a Data Science Code of Professional Conduct 

[Michael] Walker has drafted a 12-page data science code of professional conduct covering everything from what it means to be a data scientist to everyday duties.