[ESIP-all] SciDataCon session on Defining Data Professionals

Stocks, Karen kstocks at ucsd.edu
Tue May 3 00:05:27 EDT 2016

Interested in contributing to the discussion of how to define, educate, and create career pathways for data professionals? We are seeking submissions for posters, optionally paired with a 1.5-2 minute lightning talk during the oral (see description in abstract below) for the DataSciCon session "Defining Data Professionals". One poster submission can cover both elements - you don't need to submit separately for the lighting. Submissions close May 16th.

Abstract submission link:  http://www.scidatacon.org/2016/submit

Session listing:  http://www.scidatacon.org/2016/sessions - session #98

Hope to see you there,

-Karen, Mark, and Ruth

Session Title: Defining Data Professionals

Session Abstract
Data reuse and analytics increasingly drive the research agenda and are even becoming a growing part of everyone's daily lives, whether they are aware of this or not. Enabling ethical data reuse requires data professionals to make data and associated systems and tools more robust, accessible, useful, and usable. This “in between” work is becoming more critical and is increasingly complex. It is multifaceted, and must include complex social and technical work necessary to enable greater analytics.

While there is a strong demand for “data scientists” as highlighted in the now famous McKinsey Report (2011), and new data science programs are emerging in industry and academia, there is little understanding of what a data scientist does or should do (or even if that is the right term.) Current data scientists have diverse backgrounds. Some have established roles in information science and data management—research librarian, archivist, curator. Some may be statisticians or analysts. Some come from a background of computer science or systems engineering. Often, data professionals are people who are “doing data” as part of, or alongside, their “day job” as researcher, programmer, manager, lab technician, field support, etc. Yet none of these traditional professions fully address the complex, mediating requirements of making data work.

In this session we propose to address the question of what it means to be a data professional. Defining the roles, the skills, and educational requirements for data professionals is challenging. We believe there is a need to rigorously define the core principles and requirements that would underlie data-centric professions. We seek to codify data professionalism be it a profession in its own right or the role of many professions. We have invited four diverse data professionals to share their perspectives.

We also seek submissions for posters accompanied by a 90 - 120 second lightning talk. The posters can a) provide examples of current or developing educational and professional programs; b) describe how organisations are working to better define the role; c) provide examples from other, especially similar, professions that have had to (re)define themselves, and d) ideas on how to better codify the profession, demonstrate value, and build respect for the field. The lighting talk should not summarize the poster, but should present a single conclusion, proposal, lesson learned, unanswered question, or point of debate drawn from the poster content.

The session will open with four 10-minute presentations then we will have 20 min of lightning talks and close with a panel discussion with open audience participation on how to continue to advance the professionalism of data.

Invited speakers and panelists include:

* Kevin Ashley, Director of the Digital Curation Center (confirmed)
* Peter Fox, Professor of Information Technology and Web Science and a founder of “geoinformatics. (confirmed)
* Amy Nurnberger, Research Data Manager at Columbia University Libraries who is conducting a survey of data related educational programs. (confirmed)

Mark Parsons will moderate the panel.

Karen Stocks, PhD
Director, Geological Data Center
Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Mailing Address:
UCSD MC 0220
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0220
+1 858 534-1898

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