I May Never Be a Data Scientist

Data Science
Chances are extremely high that I'll never put down Data Scientist as my job. Considering what you do and what you know, I'll bet a healthy percentage of you are in a similar situation. That's OK. You know why? You know a lot about data, data movement and data processing that a Data Scientist doesn't. They Also Serve I don't know about you, but I'm not standing around waiting to serve. Instead, I'd be actively chasing after any and all Data Scientists within my organization offering to serve. If you can't be the Data Scientist who do you want to be? The Data Scientist's go-to technician. That's me handing over a new data set to the Data Scientist I'm working with: OK, really it's the best James Bond and the…
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Loading Data into Azure SQL Data Warehouse

Azure, Data Science
Ouch. Let's start with the level set. I'm not an ETL expert. In fact, I haven't done any professional ETL work for several years. My skills are, at best, rusty. With this in mind, I knew I'd have a hard time extracting data from a local database in order to move it up to Azure SQL Data Warehouse. I expected to be fumbling and slow and to constantly feel more than a little stupid as I made one mistake after another. All of this came to pass. Yet... OMG! THAT WAS DIFFICULT! Here's how I started. I defined a bcp command for the tables I was interested in. I ensured it was working correctly, then wrote a little PowerShell script so I could supply a list of tables and get…
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Learning R: Happy With My Book Choice

Data Science
This is just a quick update. I wrote about the two books I'm using to learn R. Well, I'm extremely happy with my choices, especially with the Using R for Introductory Statistics book. It has problems at the end of each chapter. No, unlike our elementary school math books the answers are not in the back of the book (you knew that, right?). The answers are however very clearly within the text of each chapter. I've really been enjoying these little problems. They're helping me cement both my understanding of R and my understanding of the mathematics. I strongly recommend this book.
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Learning R: Hitting the Books

Data Science
I've been using a series of web sites while I was starting the process of learning R. I've highlighted several of these in previous posts. While people will claim to learn better based on a single source-type, studies have found that you actually learn best by a multitude of methods. So, in addition to video instruction, web sites, guides, etc., I'm also going to read a few books to help learn R. After a lot of research, I've arrived at two that I'm starting with. The first is R In Action. I'm already on the 2nd chapter and I'm enjoying the style and approach. The other book is Using R for Introductory Statistics. I'm using this book because as I have already picked up, the real trick to learning R…
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Learning R: Hard Lessons

Data Science
I've always found the best way to learn a new programming language is to start building stuff, solving problems, using the language. Even if you do things badly or inefficiently, you're figuring out how to put the language to use. I tried the same thing with R. Fair warning, there is no happy conclusion to this story. It's a lesson about learning, not about solving a problem. After poking at the R language for a little while, I decided I was ready to solve a problem. I have a fantastic idea for demonstrating the usefulness of the language specifically for DBAs. I won't go into what it is here because I'm still hoping to solve this problem and it will provide a fantastic blog post. Anyway, I have a very…
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