Patrick Kennedy on Going from Experimental Psychology to Data Science
Patrick Kennedy, Data Scientist
There’s research, and then there’s applying the research. The two don’t always go hand-in-hand. In fact, for Dataquest learner Patrick Kennedy, the difference between the two was enough to persuade him out of a Ph.D. program in experimental psychology. Why? There weren’t any opportunities to apply the results of his research — only to keep researching.
Kennedy is a good example of how data has made its way into every industry. After leaving his program at Columbia, Kennedy ultimately became involved with another organization’s operations team. Seeing vast amounts of data going unused, Kennedy soon realized that data analysis could help turn that information into actionable intel — specifically, how to improve employee productivity and company profitability. He further discovered that not only could you do this, you could automate it, and that’s where the data science skills entered the picture.
Most goal setting “programs” in organizations are housed in excel files and the information lies dormant. Instead this information can be fed into applications that provide assistance if an employee is stuck on a particular project and hasn’t updated their status in a while or alternatively that recommend collaboration with others if other people are working on similar applications unbeknownst to them. Much of management is inspiring employees and facilitating conversations. Both of these roles can be automated to certain degrees.
Learning with Dataquest
After holding executive roles at a variety of real estate firms and even developing and selling his own business, Kennedy is learning at Dataquest how to fully apply his research — even some of his research from back during his days at Columbia University.
Dataquest is exactly what I needed to bridge the gap between my former life as an experimental psychologist and my current life as someone focused on building businesses. I knew much of the statistics and some of the coding but was completely out of the loop with the model building techniques housed in Sci-kit learn.
Motivated now to begin competing in Kaggle competitions, Kennedy is continuing to learn, experimenting with bootcamps, and continuing his studies at Dataquest. At Dataquest, we delight in helping people from one profession find the specific skills they need to transition into data science.