Meet your community


By Berten Van Herp, Nele Verbiest and Geert Verstraeten

As many of us are about to enjoy a short summer break, so is the Brussels Data Science Community. But this will not pass silently – as a wrap up of this exciting semester, the community will throw a BBQ for its members. A great time to meet both new and familiar faces. And perhaps an ideal time to write a short story on the members of this community you may meet on this next big event.

For this story, we went back to the survey of all participants of the first Data Innovation Summit (#DIS2015) held on March 26th in Brussels, Belgium. More than 500 participants were attracted by the inviting program on “how to innovatively use data” and took part in this sold-out event. While many have analyzed and described the data in a fun way, the data lends itself very well to segmentation – so that is what we did to deserve our summer break.

What we discovered from the segmentation, is that in exactly one year time, the community succeeded in attracting all stakeholders, ranging from real business people over hardcore programmers to academic statisticians and everything in between. We finally ended up with eight community segments, as plotted below. The conclusion of this is clear (and for you to discover in a small online app Berten has developed): this has become a fully developed professional community for all interested in advancing through data science.


Segments constructed from the skills of DIS2015 attendees

The bubble graph summarizes the community segments in terms of three important types of skills: Statistics, Programming and Business. For those still in doubt, it is pretty obvious that #DIS2015 was not a meeting by and for data geeks, as four segments consist of people that are well skilled in business topics. There were Business attendants, leaders and entrepreneurs with little experience in programming or statistics. Increasing the technical skills, Reporting profiles and Business Analysts are the usual suspects working with data on the Business side. We’ve also detected a Superman profile, representing experts in business, programming and statistics. Many among these Data Science Unicorns have an engineering or ICT background and gained business experience in a consulting role.

Profiling the four business-related segments learns that many among them (especially Supermen and Business) attend #DIS2015 to meet candidate employees. For them, #DIS2015 was probably a great opportunity for business to meet (other) experts:


Interest in networking for employees

Interestingly, we see that three other segments mainly attended #DIS2015 to find a new employer. We have called these segments respectively Programmers, Statisticians and the Motivees (inspired by the community of motivated supporters of our Belgian national football team).


Interest in networking for employers

Profiling of these segments makes great sense. Programmers excel in technical topics like system administration, programming and data manipulation and often have an IT role within their organization. The statisticians are mainly found in academics and the R&D department of their institution. The final job-hunting segment are the Motivees, who thank their names to the fact that they are remarkably motivated to contribute to the Data Science Community by attending meetups, hackathons and data4good sessions.

Our analysis shows that the Brussels Data Science Community has succeeded in providing a platform for all attendees – it clearly provides value, no matter of the segment you belong to.

Want to discover more? The analysis given here is only the tip of the iceberg. Find out who you are compared to other segments by playing with our shiny online app to further explore the segments’ motivation, skills and background.

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