The Data Science Delusion

Anand Ramanathan has a strong critique of “data science” as it stands today:

Illustration: Consider the sentiment-tagging task again. A Q1 resource uses an off-the-shelf model for movie reviews, and applies it to a new task (say, tweets about a customer service organization). Business is so blinded by spectacular charts [14] and anecdotal correlations (“Look at that spiteful tweet from a celebrity … so that’s why the sentiment is negative!”), that even questions about predictive accuracy are rarely asked until a few months down the road when the model is obviously floundering. Then too, there is rarely anyone to challenge the assumptions, biases and confidence intervals (Does the language in the tweets match the movie reviews? Do we have enough training data? Does the importance of tweets change over time?).

Overheard“Survival analysis? Never heard of it … Wait … There is an R package for that!”

This is a really interesting article and I recommend reading it.

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