Q & A with Barton Poulson, founder of datalab.cc

Blossom Academy
August 5th 2020
Data Science for all

Q & A with Barton Poulson, founder of datalab.cc

Data Science in Education

1. Tell us your background and your journey into Data Science?

I’m a psychology professor at Utah Valley University. I also do an introductory topic on data science on LinkedIn. I am also the founder of datalab.cc where l create free videos to share. I also do creative work with modern dance choreographers.

2. As someone with a background in R, what are some career paths available in R?

Python is common to machine learning, deep learning, and developers. R is purposely created for data analysis or building regression models. The general question in Data Science is either the use of R or python. The ecosystem in R is very large, so as a professional Data Scientist, it is advisable to learn both Python and R because you might need both in your work.

3. How do you see the future of Data Science in Africa?

There are a lot of companies now investing in the technical aspect of data science in Africa both locally and internationally.  I am impressed with what Blossom Academy is doing, in terms of taking people who have important skills, and give them the technical background to answer questions for other companies. What Blossom Academy does is the sure future of Data Science in Africa.

4. How well do you think Education is shaping the Data Science sector of Africa?

There are two sides to how data science is shaping the educational sector. One, in teaching data science, there are just a few schools that provide training in data science so what Blossom Academy does is so essential in shaping the educational aspect of data science. On the other hand data science as a topic in education is essential because most analysis done in academia tends to be a lot closer to pivot tables and spreadsheets.

5. What problems are you interested in solving at datalab.cc and why?

Datalab.cc is essentially built to introduce people to data science. I create free videos to introduce the skills of data science to people. My main focus is on making materials accessible to beginners in R and data science.

6. What’s your advice for upcoming and practicing data scientists?

As a beginner or an already professional in data science, you need to always remember that your data always comes from people and it's about people and it also affects people. Some major companies sometimes forget this and they produce products that backfire. You always need to keep that human element in mind anytime you work on any project.

Blossom Academy is a technology talent development company that recruits and develops African data science talent, with the goal of connecting them with job opportunities. To learn more, kindly visit our website at www.blossomacademy.co.

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