Cultivating creativity in data work - Hilary Parker

Traditionally, statistical training has focused primarily on mathematical derivations, proofs of statistical tests, and the general correctness of what methods to use for certain applications. However, this is only one dimension of the practice of doing analysis. Other dimensions include the technical mastery of a language and tooling system, and most importantly the construction of a convincing narrative tailored to a specific audience, with the ultimate goal of them accepting the analysis. These "softer" aspects of analysis are difficult to teach, perhaps more so when the field is framed as mathematics and often housed in mathematics departments. In this talk, I discuss an alternative framework for viewing the field, borrowing upon the past work in other fields such as design. Looking forward, we as a field can borrow from these fields to cultivate and hone the creative lens so necessary to the success of applied work.

About the Author

Hilary Parker

I’m a Senior Data Analyst at Etsy, where I help product teams with data-driven development, via experimentation, opportunity sizing and impact analysis. I got my Ph.D. from the Department of Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, working with Jeff Leek. I studied genomics and built tools to help researchers use genomic technologies in personalized medicine applications. I graduated from Pomona College in 2008, where I double-majored in Mathematics and Molecular Biology. True to my liberal arts upbringing, I’m a passionate teacher. Most notably, I taught an introductory Biostatistics class at the American University of Armenia (and kept a pretty cool travel blog along the way).

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