In this blog series, we're proud to shine a light on some of the top Capstone projects from the second graduating class of Data Science for All / Empowerment. Capstone projects are a critical component of the DS4A / Empowerment curriculum in which teams get together to work on projects that solve real-world data challenges faced by today’s leading companies and public sector organizations.
I come from a non-tech background having a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice/Forensic Science, but most recently working at a tech startup on the Data Management team. I chose to join DS4A, as I wanted to gain valuable skills and hands-on experience with Data Science/Analytics concepts.
My next goal is to transition into a Data Engineering position, while completing personal projects, and my long-term goal is to transition to a Machine Learning Engineer position.
I am the co-founder of 5minofscience.com. It is a platform that connects university researchers and industry through short videos of researchers explaining their work, with a focus on AI and agriculture. Our objective is to make science more applicable.I applied to DS4A to give me more exposure on data analysis and programming.
I am currently a healthcare focused - analytics solutions consultant which was a role I sincerely believe I acquired by talking about my experience with DS4A. I initially chose to join DS4A to increase my fluency with data, and be able to get guidance regarding emerging data science trends. I do believe that my DS4A work has exponentially increased my capabilities with understanding statistics and be able to critically interpret larger trends in healthcare data. I hope to continue this journey in the data science world by continuing my self learning.
I am currently a visiting lecturer at Cornell University, where I received my PhD in comparative literature. My academic work focuses on socially engaged art and media culture, as well as their intersections with data science. I am also a digital humanist working on digital preservation and curation projects. In DS4A, I’ve learned many critical skills in machine learning and natural language processing, which will help me develop data-driven research projects in future.
I currently work in financial services. Thanks to DS4A I will be transitioning back to healthcare for a company I’ve been longing to join. My tech background isn’t traditional. I have my bachelors in sociology and a masters in public health. I’ve had some exposure to data science via jobs I’ve held in my career. I honestly didn’t know what to expect from DS4A initially but this experience has forced me to grow in ways that I didn’t think I was ready for. While I’ve gained many new things thanks to DS4A, the biggest gift was offering me the chance to be a part of such a dynamic community.
I’m a pharmacist/MBA working in Health Economics and Outcomes Research, and I applied to DS4A to improve my overall data literacy. The arc of my career is focused on broadening access to healthcare innovation in underserved communities, and this is the challenge to which I intend to apply my newly minted skills! These abilities will allow me to more effectively use data to drive quicker and better decision-making and alignment. DS4A built the perfect technical and people program to set me up for success in this.
I come from a very technical background; a Bachelors in Computer Technology and Masters in Information Technology. I am currently working as a data assistant / consultant for a social media platform. The main reason I applied to DS4A was to improve on my data skills and acquire more skills. My next career goal is to continue into Data Science with a focus in being a data visualization engineer.
About the Project: Is Your Hospital Bamboozling You? Helping Patients Shop for Affordable Care in Michigan
What was the most exciting/surprising findings from your project?
During the second iteration of our exploratory data analysis, we mapped our data onto a map of the state, and clusters of hospitals with similar demographic and pricing trends emerged. This was a surprising discovery since our overall state trends obscured this discovery. We realized that our data could be a case for Simpson's Paradox and future work might benefit from disaggregation.
What were some challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
Our two main challenges were: 1) Data gathering and cleaning: differing formats, completeness and methods of reporting pricing, if it existed; 2) Missing prices: we applied predictive modeling. We made a dashboard that anyone could use by making it intuitive, visually appealing, and straightforward.
What do you view as the impact of your project?
Our project has demonstrated that price transparency can positively impact the ability of patients to shop for care. With additional time and resources, our project could have a greater impact by creating a toolkit that can be applied across other states, and for a broader range of services.
Congratulations to this team, their mentors, and TA, for this accomplishment!
If you're interested in joining our Data Science for All mission to recruit our DS4A fellows or to become aMentor,please get in touch.