You may be excited because you’re the new hotshot data scientist in your company. For that matter, you may be the only data scientist in your company. While you have the job and well-defined responsibilities, you might quickly realize that you still need some help from IT in order to get your job done.
Let’s face it, the IT department is busy just like you are and they have the responsibility of maintaining all of the technology throughout your company. It’s unfortunate, but many departments consider IT to be an obstacle to getting their jobs done. In reality, IT spends a large portion of their time “keeping the lights on,” doing everyday mundane tasks so that no one notices an outage.
In order to succeed at your data science job, you’re going to need:
- serious compute power in order to do real-time analytics
- massive amounts of storage and your own data warehouse
- access to the data during working hours
- data sets that are current, complete, correct, and in the proper format
And of course knowing how to get more support from IT can help with each of these:
1. Know your sponsor
One of the most important parts of any Big Data project is determining who is going to be the sponsor. This person will preferably have clout with both management and the IT department. Of course, they also need a good understanding of the business. By identifying the business sponsor, you will have someone on your side that can help you get things done.
2. Bring in IT early
Talk to the IT department and get their input on what data needs to be captured and the best ways to capture it. Sometimes IT has more familiarity with systems and the ability to obtain additional types of data. They may be able to provide insight into the best way of getting the information you need.
3. Budget time and dollars
Establish time and dollar budgets up front with your sponsor and the IT department to ensure that you will have the resources needed. Don’t wait until the last minute to request help, and remember to build in some extra time for unexpected problems if you’re on a deadline.
IT can help make your data science objectives a reality. However, it’s important to remember that IT performs many tasks on a daily basis that you and the rest of the company will probably never know about, assuming the job is done correctly. By establishing your resources and objectives up front you can ensure that both parties have realistic expectations of what needs to be done. Together, you can make a great team.