From Statistics to Data Science Startup: Transformation Within a Large Research Organization (304822)*Gayle Bieler, RTI International
Keywords: leadership, data science, statistics, research, collaboration
This talk will discuss building a Center for Data Science within a large well-respected non-profit research institute, our mission, vision, principles, and the type of work we do. We are a team of 22 data scientists, statisticians, software developers, and artists at RTI International, where our mission is to improve the human condition, and our Center’s mission is “data science for social good”. What is it like building and leading such an organization from scratch after 26 years as a statistician at RTI? We’ll cover several important considerations: leadership, team composition, recruitment and retention efforts, the necessity of technical, domain, and soft skills, team vs. group culture, elements of our philosophy—continuous innovation, collaboration, rapid prototyping, human-centered design, an open source mindset, and entrepreneurship—that drive success in collaborating with domain researchers across RTI, fostering staff engagement, and creating a continuous learning environment in a fast-moving field. Finally, we’ll cover some of our most impactful projects and best adventures, those solving important national problems, improving our communities, and transforming research.