Google Employee Visits NYC Data Science Academy Bootcamp

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Posted on Mar 8, 2015

NYC Data Science Bootcamp was visited this week by a data scientists from Google, Harrison Adler. He provided some insight into what a data scientist does on a daily basis, as well as a peek into the “famous” perks Google is known for. He spoke to us on Hangouts from a conference room filled with comfortable over stuffed chairs and a real fire hydrant, and let us know that last week he had mussels for dinner.

The project Harrison has been working on is something called Google for Work. It allows enterprises to determine security and other controls for Android devices – presumably going head to head with Blackberry’s dwindling market share. As a relatively junior data analyst at Google, much of Harrison’s time is spent on project management and “internal sales”. He needs data from other groups in order to do analytics on the use of such products as email, google drive and hangouts. So he is responsible for making a business case to get this data from the owners.

With data in hand, the analytics that Harrison and his group can do to better understand its business customers is critical for the success of Google for Work. How do different domains use android devices? What is the adoption rate? And how is Android used at work? His objective is to build a “dashboard” that will provide the best information possible about Google’s business customers so that other groups will benefit from the insights and intelligence his group is developing.

“Buy-in” at Google is a big part of many projects. First he needs to build a business case for his project, so that he can get the raw data he needs. Then he and his team have to build something that other people at Google will value. His dream is increased transparency of data and more and better analytics for customers.

His advice for people looking for data science jobs is to be clear about the kind of work you want to do, and build a portfolio that reflects your interests. At Google, at least, it helps to have a big picture view of what you are interested in and the motivation to learn what you don’t know.

Meanwhile, Harrison is working hard, enjoying his mussels, and planning to move out to Mountain View next winter. We wish him all the best.

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