10 October 2016

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Getting Started with Data Science

Getting Started with Data Science
by Muhammad Rasyid Ridha
On his way to becoming a changemaker as a data magician in the future

“Data science, the combination of statistics and computer science, is a perfect match for me to get my hands dirty in this world”

My journey has been started these days when I just joined the team as a Data Scientist in a novel company, focusing on data, Dattabot. In this company, there are many things that I would like to improve, both from the technical or interpersonal side. I lay my time in this company not only to seek financial benefit but also something more than that, a precious experience that can improve my worth and competitive advantage as data scientist who can solve various problems with his creativity, idea and algorithm, both from machine learning or statistics.

A little intermezzo
By the end of 2016, my main goals will have been already finished, such as: getting >550 TOEFL ITP score, accumulating 200k words, accumulating IDR30,000k and finishing reading >15 books. In 2017, I will be reborn as a better person with much higher vision that can impact the others to make a greater change. Therefore, I can define that stuff as a leadership. For me, a leader is someone who can make an impact regardless of their current positional leadership. In the first stage, I learn the art of leadership to control myself first and get to know how my brain work and then become the artist who can lead people with his inspiration.

Besides those 2016 main goals, the other sides of my goals such as: getting healthy with such criteria based on my mental, physical and spiritual is also important to be accomplished. In the mental side, for example, I would like to control and lead myself with more mindfulness so that I am able to make a better and clearer decision making. I also train my body with proper exercise, both aerobic and strength training with additional of nutritious food. In the spiritual side, I want to improve my sense of tranquility by praying mindfully and learning Quran thoroughly.

Goal as a Data Scientist in 2016
As a data scientist, I have my own goal and expectation in this company, but I do not stick myself with it one-hundred percent. Also, these goals below are not specific enough but it is enough for me as a starter in data science world as a basic fuel for my long journey as data magician. I deal with problems related to data, both with my personal project data or company-cased data.
1.      Get to know and apply basic machine learning algorithm
2.      Master R (Shiny, data visualization) and Python (Web scraping, machine learning)
3.      Finish personal database and data science project (daily life, financial, movement, and historical data)

Application of Data Science
“Aplikasi nu data sains teh luas pisan”
There is no doubt that data science can solve many problems from various fields because as long as data is available, we can crunch the numbers, get the machine learning and statistics turn on and there lies the power of data science, an art of translating data into something meaningful. I even think to make use of my daily life data as a basic description for my decision making. My personal project is about designing database for my daily life data such as expense, network, flight history, event, personal information, etc. It is just a first stage, I also want to make use that data with stunning data visualization using a web application (Shiny or d3.js maybe) by creating such user-friendly dashboard.

Well, it is just my imagination on the rainbow sea. The most necessary thing is that I can learn and improve myself in playing with data and solving hard problems with the power of data science. As an individual, it is true that I am interested in many things, not only statistics and data science but also in other fields such as economy, psychology, health, politics, history, philosophy, sociology, architecture, engineering, technology, finance, business, literature, writing, etc.

The problems are everywhere and also data is ubiquitous. The good news is that nowadays, technology has helped us much to make data storing, analysis and processing faster. The term of big data, for example, can improve the speed of data processing and automation. We can compute millions of matrix which seem impossible if we compute it manually with a pencil. As a data scientist, indeed, I also need to know the current technology that can help me in translating data into meaningful insight.

In this paragraph, I would like to question myself with the plethora of interest inside my brain regarding data science. Specifically, what is my main concern as a data scientist? What kind of problem that I interest most? Although I have a great extent of interests, I can not become an expert in all of them at the same time. I need a core value, a specific specialization as a data scientist who has the capability in solving specific problems in such field.

As a human, with all of my knowledge, I have a zeal willingness to give benefits to this world as much as I can. With data science, I believe that I can give such impact for society, especially for my country, Indonesia. Therefore, I prefer to choose such specific fields in data science, like economy, urban and health because, in my opinion, those areas can give a huge impact on society, for example in urban analytics where I can improve transportation quality by doing data science project by monitoring the movement of people in urban area. In the future, I would like to get a master degree in data science, econometrics or epidemiology.

Third Party
Dattabot, Data Science Indonesia, UN Global Pulse Jakarta, Open Data Jakarta, TransJakarta, Jakarta Smart City, Open Data Lab Jakarta and Satu Data Indonesia.

Learn English, Learn the Art of Writing
Once more, I write this excerpt on Engish because I would like to improve my writing skill. I want to become an avid writer who can make a masterpiece of writing that can mesmerize people and inspire them in doing goodness. Learning the art of writing is one of my way to share my ideas in English with a great context of sophisticatedness. I know that currently, my writing—based on grammar, organization, and vocabulary—is still not good enough. To improve my English writing skill, there is no doubt that practicing is indispensable.