The goal of a Balanced Team is to share ownership and responsibility for the success of a project between team members. Each team member has specific obligations to the team and a specific area of authority. Until recently, designers, product managers and developers were the usual team members considered. In this talk I will explore how data scientists can function in a balanced team and discuss my experience working as a data scientist on balanced teams at Pivotal Labs with our global clients. I will consider what obligations and authority a data scientist can provide as part of a balanced team and how this situation differs from the usual jack-of-all-trades type data science work. I will outline specific examples where data science can help user centric design and product management, and where the practices of lean-startup and agile development can help accelerate analysis and data science. Based on my experience building data science driven products with a global bank and European car manufacturers, I will outline what we tried, what worked and most importantly what didn’t.
If you are a data scientist or need to work with one, this talk will equip you to understand how data science can be an integral part of a balanced team.