Friday, October 17, 2014
R Statistical Programming Training and the Shift in R Consulting.
At Bigcomputing we have been R consultants since 2009. We have provided consulting in a variety of verticals to build, improve or speed up the algorithms of our customers, and we have provided R training. Over the last few years there has been a shift in the data science consulting business that no one is talking about.
In 2009 working on algorithms represented 90% of our business, training 10% and visualization 0%. This distribution was similar for all the R consulting groups that I knew of at the time and held that way for a number of years.
Starting in 2012 and continuing till today. Algorithm building has become a smaller and smaller part of the business while the demand for training and interactive visualization tools has exploded.
How big has that shift been? I know of one consulting group that has stopped doing anything but training and had to triple in size to meet the demand.
We have experienced a similar shift. Now our business is made up of mostly training and visualizations. Although Bigcomputing has not abandoned the algorithmic work. Why/ Because we believe that after the people we have trained develop their skills they will want and need to do more. We can only help them to do that if we are doing that more sophisticated work already with the most current developments.
Underneath this change I feel there is also a shift in the data science world away from the most accurate models to a more standard robust and interpretable modeling approach. These models tend to be easily visualized in an interactive way that can be shared with non- data scientists not in a result oriented way but in an informative way. This is a powerful shift because if we adopt the simpler approaches they can be done by a much larger group of people in an effective way. For example if I use a simple model in R, I can typically do that with one line of code versus the many lines of code for some type of ensemble method. Anyone can write one line of code. All they need is a little bit of training which we are giving them creating.