Tech Culture Needs to Embrace EQUITY | Brandeis Marshall on The Artists of Data Science

Some notable segments from the show:

Where to listen to the show

How Brandeis got to where she is today

[5:10] I’m looking at some data that was part of a course. And I was like, this is interesting. This is really interesting. I like the structure of the organization. I and then I start thinking, well, everything needs the structure and organization. So I’ve actually been a data head since 2000. I’ve been thinking data is cool from way back then. Took a data science, databases course that dovetail into information retrieval and that’s wind up what I concentrated my PhD dissertation on. And so for me, data has been part of my entire career. And in fact, applying data in how data is applied in different spaces has been something I’ve been doing since I can remember it as part of my my graduate work. So what I see as far as getting into the field, it’s a matter of where do you know the origins of the data? Are you interested in that part? And of course, moving forward and trying to figure out what the dataset is, figuring out, how do you know, clean up the data? How do you figure out how to analyze the data? So all of those parts are interesting to me. And that’s kind of how I got into it. It was happenstance by luck, by interest, by passion. But I already was a computer scientist, so I always say I’m computer science first, data scientist second.

Where Brandeis thinks the field of data science is headed in the next 2–5 years

[8:29] We’re seeing it over and over again where marginalized communities are disproportionately not included or over saturated inside of certain datasets.

And how do we shift the conversation so that all people are included in the data conversation? So the next two to five years is going to now being bringing aboard the understanding of the importance and the power of data and how that impacts communities differently. And, of course, developing policies, enforcing those policies, whatever regulations at the local, federal, national level in order to make sure that data becomes part of our known fabric inside of every facet from curriculum at K through 12, through those that are currently in the workforce, in all workforces, not just STEM

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely love my STEM people, but it’s an all workforces across the board. Everyone needs to know more about data.

What will separate great data scientists from the rest of them?

[13:29] “What’s really going to set those apart is going to be those that have open minds with very good documentation.

Those that are consistently learning from sources of quality. And that means you’re going to hit some bumpy road, you’re going to hit some you know, you might get some disinformation, you might get some misinformation, but then you’re going to learn from it.

And then you’re going to now be able to discern what is quality and what isn’t quality. You’re then going to be able to talk about, oh, I know this individual is working in this space. That’s not my expertise. So don’t ask me. Ask this expert. And I think that’s going to be extremely important for data scientists to not try to take on all the responsibility for the whole process. This is one where it is a it’s teamwork. So you have to be able in order to share out where other people are better talent and a better fit to answer those questions.

Key takeaways from the episode

Memorable quotes

[7:57] “I’m trying to do my best to be… that beacon to talk about data in sizeable, understandable nuggets, because it’s not just a science thing. It is our everyday life.”

[11:45] “…if you stay within your own lane in your own expertise, only talking to people who have your particular background, you’re losing the whole story… and with data, there’s always a story”

[29:34] “…I want…other people to know that they can talk about their particular ethnicities, content in a research space, in the tech space, and still be successful.”

The one thing that Brandeis Marshall wants you to learn from her story

From the lightning round

Books and other media mentioned in this episode


Episode Transcript



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