I started as a data scientist 3 weeks ago at a small company (<100 employees) and have been assigned the one and only data scientist at the company as my lead/mentor. This person, let's call him "Joe", has been working at the company "from the start" and is liked by everyone including our part-time non-technical manager, our team consists of us 3.
In my opinion, Joe is far from being a data scientist. He started working behind the phone at the company and when they needed to do some analysis, the most suitable candidate was Joe. Since then Joe has been doing analysis and modeling, even though he has never studied these topics and has no prior experience.
I have identified a lot of mistakes Joe made and makes, which leads to providing the company wrong information.
The company is now investing more into data and hired me and this is where the problem starts. Joe thinks that he knows everything and he wants to do everything his way. The manager is also under the same impression. I have therefore been assigned to do what Joe says me to do.
In the beginning, I tried teaching Joe about SQL, Python instead of Excel, statistical methodology, correct validation, etc. But his response is that he does not need it, he already knows everything or he has his own way.
Besides this, Joe also extracts all the data for me, apparently, this is a company policy to protect themselves until they feel comfortable. This makes me very dependent on Joe. When I ask for data, he will extract the data he finds most suitable and not what I want for my analysis.
This week we have had a lot of conflicts due to the project we are working on. I essentially said to Joe this project is going to fail and the result cant be achieved based on what he has provided. He called me into a meeting and said I should be careful and follow his instructions. This got me a bit worried as I have a 12 week trial period.
I liked the company, colleagues and I see a lot of potentials as the company is in an early data phase.
Ideally, I would like to work on my own project without any input at all from Joe. Is there a way I can get this done?
I should probably talk to the manager, but I dont know if I should say that I find Joe totally unqualified. Additionally, I have not really bonded with the manager as we have only spoken twice, Joe is mainly my "manager".