Sep 23–26, 2019

Improve your data science ROI with a portfolio and risk management lens

Brian Dalessandro (Capital One)
11:20am12:00pm Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Location: 1E 12/13
Secondary topics:  Culture and Organization
Average rating: ****.
(4.60, 5 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • CxOs, data science and business leadership, and data scientists

Level

Beginner

Description

Building a data science capability requires tremendous investment in people, processes, and technologies. While the return on such investments can be large, such returns are not immediately observable or even measurable. Such issues often leave business executives in the position of making data science investments more on faith than on evidence. As the data science industry matures, both data science leaders and their executive stakeholders need to develop robust and better frameworks to deliver business impacts and justify spending levels. Brian Dalessandro identifies multiple levels of systemic risk that data science projects face and introduces a portfolio-based approach to hedge against such risks and thus increase the likelihood of creating value through data science.

Most business projects face both hypothesis and execution risks, where the former is defined by the business’s ability to identify the right opportunities, and the latter by the ability to execute well to capitalize on a such opportunities. These risks extend to data science projects, but within this domain is another, unique risk, which is called signal risk. Signal risk is the underlying uncertainty in being able to acquire the right data related to a problem and then finding exploitable patterns within it (analogous to the concept of statistical power but extended to broader business concerns). All together, standard business and product development processes fail to incorporate the compounded effects of these three risks. Brian addresses the issue and presents concrete strategies to better hedge against such risks to improve the success rate of data science programs.

You’ll learn techniques and strategies that help mitigate the aforementioned risks, learned through years of consulting and data science leadership. Ultimately, the right approach requires negotiation and engagement from all stakeholders, and Brian provides a starting basis to have such a conversation.

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Familiarity with data science processes and concepts

What you'll learn

  • Understand failure points of data science projects and how to plan around them
  • Learn to modify traditional agile development approaches to accommodate unique research risks and learn better patterns of communication between data scientists and business stakeholders
  • Plan for actionability as a core criteria for feasibility
Photo of Brian Dalessandro

Brian Dalessandro

Capital One

Brian d’Alessandro is a Sr Director of data science at Capital One (Financial Services). Brian is also an active professor for NYU’s Center for Data Science graduate degree program. Previously, Brian built and led data science programs for several NYC tech startups, including Zocdoc and Dstillery. A veteran data scientist and leader with over 18 years of experience developing machine learning-driven practices and products, Brian holds several patents and has published dozens of peer-reviewed articles on the subjects of causal inference, large-scale machine learning, and data science ethics. When not doing data science, Brian likes to cook, create adventures with his family, and surf in the frigid north Atlantic waters.

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