For Data’s Rising Stars: How Individual Contributor Data Science Pros Can Amplify Their Impacts


The specific purpose of this session is to help those who are newer to data science and those who currently work as individual contributors to use data culture as a mechanism that will support career growth. In the history of the field there have been few times better than now to enter or level up in a data career.

Promoting data culture is no longer the sole province of c-suite leaders. This means that establishing yourself as an expert in data culture is one of the smartest strategic moves any data scientist can make. Even if you are an individual contributor and also if you are new to the field you can establish yourself as a strong leader while also inspiring others by fostering the growth and development of data culture in your organizations and in the field.

This session, based on Chapter 10 of ""How To Become A Data Scientist: A Guide for Established Professionals,"" first defines exactly what constitutes data culture. Following the baseline discussion of data culture, this session also provides four actionable tactics that any professional at any level can use to promote data culture.

For each tactic attendees will learn how to implement the tactic. Learning how to implement the tactic means learning what to do, how to do it, and why it works. By attending this session, participants will be equipped with the tools and insights necessary to effectively promote data culture and advance their careers in data science.

Session Outline:

PART A: What is data culture.
PART B1: Learn about how your organization already defines (or doesn't define) data culture. Note agreements. Spot disagreements.
PART B2: Measure data culture. Start keeping track in a quantifiable way.
PART B3: Gamify the growth. Make building and growing data culture fun, enjoyable, and exciting with friendly competition.
PART B4: Up or out. Use what you have build to move up (or out). Given your new successes, learn how to decide if (or when) to make that next career


Dr. Adam Ross Nelson, is a career coach and a data science consultant. As a career coach he helps others enter and level up in data related professions. As a data science consultant he provides research, data science, machine learning, and data governance services. Previously, he was the inaugural data scientist at The Common Application which provides undergraduate college application platforms for institutions around the world. He holds a PhD from The University of Wisconsin - Madison in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis. Adam is also formerly an attorney with a history of working in higher education, teaching all ages, and working as an educational administrator. Adam sees it as important for him to focus time, energy, and attention on projects that may promote access, equity, and integrity in the field of data science. This commitment means he strives to find ways for his work to challenge system oppression, injustice, and inequity.

Open Data Science




Open Data Science
One Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02142

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from - Youtube
Consent to display content from - Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from - Google