I recently started to lead a data science focused company with two departments that has uses SPSS Modeler extensively. To be honest nobody there has close to the skills of a data scientist. My expectation of a data scientist is in a nutshell that he/she can apply/test/develop complex models to data. As this skill was basically missing in the past, the existing company became a reporting and business intelligence department that is basically providing data in excel to other departments within the overall organization.
The usual process is the following:
- Somebody from the overall organization needs some data
- He calls the department and we do SQLs within SPSS Modeler to provide them the data
- If they are not satisfied we do this over and over again, which created extensive work for all team members
This process is horrible and time consuming!
I recently hired someone who is closer to a "real" data scientist. He can program python/R and has extensive modeling experience. He currently implements a semantic search for email scanning as this is one of the models that we are currently planning to implement. However, he basically does not get accepted by the team as everybody thinks that Jupyter, Python etc. is worthless. They do not need it and are happy what they have and also - to my surprise - with what they are currently doing.
However, our companies roadmap is to become more of an IT/data science unit. I want that as a company we are focusing on creating analytical models, automating dashboards and NOT selecting data and sending excels around!
I know this is a deep cultural topic and I am currently trying to solve it by:
- In the future only hiring employees that only know R/Python and extensive analytics to drive cultural change
- Offering for existing employees Python courses and help them come up to speed
I recently communicated that we will still be having SPSS Modeler, BUT for the right problems as python is the right tool for other problems.
I was also thinking to communicate that from now on we only develop models in Python/R, as some of our existing models were only created in SPSS Modeler and are not performing well.
I also feel that I would like to convince the team to use Jupyter even more and they then see the possibilities.
How would you drive this cultural change use Jupyter/Python to come closer to our goal of becoming a IT/data science company!