Welcome Aboard!

“With respect, I have to disagree with you.” was one of my responses in a recent interview that has lead me to my current role. I was on my seventh interview, and I was explaining to one of my future team mates why I didn’t regard myself as a data scientist.

At the end of the day I had spent well over 16 years working with SQL Server, specialising in Business Intelligence and descriptive analytics. If I was to call myself a data scientist, I would be regarded as a pretty bad one. And the rhetoric that had been coming out of the industry was that I knew I had to look into this field, but I would only be an apprentice data scientist at best.

That was my thought anyway, but it turns out that there are existing skills that a SQL Server Data Professional possesses that is extremely useful to data science. Particularly in the realms of “Features Engineering” –  I will talk at length about this in another post. Unbeknown to me during numerous interviews, I described techniques and technologies I had used in the world of Data Migrations, Data Warehousing and Cubes that resonated with the resident data scientists. I received the call soon after saying “You’re hired.”

The last 18 months have seen me immersed in the world of cloud migrations and I have been around many conferences presenting content on the Cortana Intelligence Suite (CIS).  At each conference the same themes keep recurring as I am questioned about the CIS sessions I run.  Questions such as “How can I keep pace with all these changes?” and “Are there any links to information that can help me understand this?”.

So if you are feeling “Where do I start!”, then the good news is you are not alone, and this blog, with the other resources that we are providing is intended to provide you with the information to help you augment your existing skills with the skills and technologies required to implement Cortana solutions.

The first thing you should do is browse our team’s portal that has a list of training events around the globe, and video materials. Content will be added to this site fairly regularly in the coming months. I would recommend that you visit Buck Woody’s blog , Backyard Data Science, where the focus is looking at the processes, the statistics and the technology hat fits around data science space. And Ryan Swanstrom blog, Data Science 101 also provides useful insights into the world of data science. Let me know in the comments below what areas you would like to look at and I will get them on the blog as soon as I can.

Welcome aboard! I hope you will find future articles useful as we both learn how to navigate this new and exciting world!



3 thoughts on “Welcome Aboard!

  1. That’s encouraging. Coming from business intelligence development and growing into more advanced analytics over the past two years, I have often felt that a lot of data science concepts surrounding wrangling and cleansing were similar to what I had been doing with SQL Server for years. Different set of tools and terminology, but a lot of the core work was similar.


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