Participate in the broader data science community
Participating in the broader community is essential for us to thrive as a company. Practically, the field of data science (along with data engineering and MLOps) is evolving so rapidly that new and useful tools are released seemingly every month.
We have to keep abreast of the field and bring new ideas from elsewhere back into the company. Reputationally, we aim to be trusted advisors in the industry. We want to contribute back to the broader technical community by, for instance, attending and presenting at conferences; writing blog posts, journal articles, and books; and contributing to open-source software.
Lead our technical staff
The industry isn’t the only thing growing—Elder Research is, too! We know how quickly it becomes impractical for a small set of technical ‘super-experts’ to be deeply involved in every client project. Instead, we need our whole technical team to learn and grow, so that more and more staff can expertly take on the challenges that our clients bring. Training and mentoring are crucial.
Therefore, CSC members mentor teams and individuals across the company. Some hold regular “office hours” for drop-in troubleshooting, advice, or brainstorming; others regularly meet one-on-one with technical staff in their business unit; and many direct internal project reviews, which provide timely expert feedback for projects from an ‘outside’ perspective. CSC members also support larger technical and professional development forums including weekly tech talks, fireside chats, fun competitions, and internal training courses.
Share technical direction
Lastly, the CSC has proven to be a useful administrative “nerve center” for our company’s technical work. Because we bring together leaders from across business units, we can share information, coordinate resources, develop and lead technical initiatives, and work together to solve problems. Beyond the impact of regular information sharing on the CSC’s inward and outward-facing missions, the CSC provides a way to share “shortcuts” that allow techniques, methods, and practical know-how to spread more quickly across the company. This breaks up “information silos,” where staff in one business unit might be facing a ‘novel’ problem that, in fact, another business unit sees regularly.