Why I’m starting a Data Science Masters program

Today is the first day of my first semester as a Data Science Masters student.

Why am I starting a Data Science Masters program?

Because I want to be able to unlock insights about whatever data problem I’m faced with. (And aren’t they all data problems? I’m joking—kind of…) Here are two general problems I hope to learn to solve:

  1. improve online conversion rates
  2. balance game system designs

How did I get here?

I got into data via art. In the mid-2000s, I followed the work of artists like Joshua Davis. He inspired me to start playing around with Flash and Processing. I fancied myself a digital artist. I might have called the images I made around this time “data visualizations,” but they were actually visual art (that happened to have some data under the hood). I didn’t yet know of the idea of making sense of data and telling a story about that data.

Then, I read Ben Fry’s Visualizing Data which opened up a whole new world. I considered studying with Ben Fry’s former mentor John Maeda at the MIT Media Lab. Instead, I ended up following a different path; mostly focusing on designing websites. That lead to an interest in organizational processes, business, and earning an MBA.

Now I find myself ready to commit to data science. I work with lots of interesting analytics experts at my day job. I keep wanting to jump in and learn how they do what they do. This Data Science program is how I plan to finally do that.

I plan to write about what I learn—at least once a week—and post those writings here. Please follow along and feel free to comment or ask questions.

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