BlueGranite recently partnered with BDPA (formerly known as, 'Black Data Processing Associates') to give a series of workshops that provided a broad overview of data analytics. BDPA is an international non-profit organization with a diverse membership of professionals and students at all levels in the fields of information technology, computer science and related S.T.E.M fields. The goal of these workshops was to introduce the data analytics career to attendees holistically. The workshops were followed by more in-depth training that focused on specific skill sets needed in data analytics, and also included mentoring.
I presented the first of three workshops, which was titled "Modern Data Analytics". The workshop focused on the following three areas:
- The history of data analytics
- Current challenges in data analytics
- How modern data analytics addresses the current challenges
Let’s go deeper and explain how each of the areas were addressed in the workshop.
The History of Data Analytics
Data Analytics has recently become more popular. It is used in a wide variety of areas such as social media, professional sports, and healthcare to name a few. The practice of using data to make informed decisions may have become standard practice in recent times, but it has been around for a long time. The workshop gave a brief history of data analytics and described the traditional tools that have been used in the past.
Current Challenges in Data Analytics
Even though data analytics has been around for quite some time, traditional methods are often not sufficient for the current data analytics needs. The workshop explained what some of those problems are. Those problems include working with unstructured data, big data, and data in motion.
How Modern Data Analytics Addresses the Current Challenges
As previously stated, traditional tools are not equipped to handle many of the new challenges we are faced with in data analytics. Handling unstructured data, big data, or data in motion using traditional tools is at best very inefficient but often will not suffice. The workshop presented new tools that have been recently developed and explained how they are used in the three most common roles in modern data analytics. Those roles are the data analyst, the data engineer, and the data scientist.
This workshop was the first of 3 workshops that BlueGranite partnered with BDPA to present. The second workshop covered "Data Visualization Principles and Best Practices" and was presented by my colleague Emily Depasse. The third workshop covered "A Day in the Life of a Data Scientist and Data Engineer". That workshop was presented by my colleagues, Dr. Tom Weinandy and Megan Quinn. An additional blog post will be published each week to explain what was covered in each of those workshops. If you'd like to watch my presentation at BDPA, please view the video below.
Read our follow-up posts covering our partnership with BDPA here:
- Better Together Blog Series - Principles of Data Visualization
- Better Together Blog Series - Emphasizing Data Engineering