The Hero’s Journey | T. Scott Clendaniel on The Artists of Data Science Podcast

Some notable segments from the show

[7:57] What is an A.I. winter?

Where to listen to the episode

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, YouTube, or on your favourite podcast platform.

T. Scott’s journey into data science

T. Scott’s journey began quite accidentally! He majored in strategic planning at the University of Baltimore. He heard of an opportunity to apply for a position at SteadyCorp through one of his internships. Unbeknownst to him, the position was for marketing analytics, something he was unfamiliar with. He was still able to land the job, and so began his career.

Where is the field headed in 2–5 years?

In the next two to five years, T. Scott thinks we are going to continue seeing A.I being used to solve some traditional problems. Although these areas are not “sexy”, these areas provide a big payoff. The biggest applications are actually going to be on the cost savings side and eliminating waste.

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

In T. Scott’s opinion, what will separate the great data scientists from the rest is the ability to take a step back and assess what the organization really needs. Instead of creating code to solve everything, take a step back and ask yourself what the criteria for success is.

Key takeaways from the episode

A.I. winter

(7:57) An A.I. winter is a period of time where the field of artificial intelligence goes fallow. This means not a whole lot of development goes on and people start to lose faith in the field. This usually happens because A.I. journalists overhype the field, causing a false narrative on future A.I capabilities.


(13:58) To be a good leader, you have to first learn how to be a good team member. You need to be willing to focus on the greater good. You need to have a vision and the ability to get things done.

Storytelling in data science

(20:39) Storytelling is a very underrated skill that data scientists should develop. Here is a basic outline for storytelling:

  • Who is your hero? — It’s always the audience
  • What do they need to overcome?
  • What tool or technology are they going to use to overcome?
  • How is that going to happen?
  • What is the celebration or result of overcoming that problem going to be at the end?

What to do with these crazy jobs descriptions

(36:45) Realize that very few people have all of these crazy skills outlined in these job descriptions. If you have more than half of the requirements listed, send in the application. Also, find the job that you want to have, and check to see if other jobs have similar requirements. If you lack a certain requirement, then make sure you spend some time acquiring this skill.

Memorable quotes

The one thing that T. Scott wants you to learn from his story

(46:54) Take your ego out of the equation. Be humble, and be willing to continuously learn.

From the lightning round

Best advice

The Platinum Rule: Treat others the way they wish to be treated, not the way you wish to be treated.

Advice to 20 year old self

Be humble.

Topic outside of data science we should study

Graphics. Using a picture to communicate an idea does wonders to get further into your career.

Favorite interview question to ask

What concerns do you have that I might be able to address?

Recommended book

“In Search of Excellence” by Robert H. Waterman Jr. and Tom Peters.

Books and other media mentioned in this episode

“Start with Why” by Simon Sinek.

Find T. Scott Online


Episode transcript

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Full episode on YouTube



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The Artists of Data Science

The Artists of Data Science

The ONLY personal development podcast for data scientists.