The most important thing for getting your first data science job

Right now (in 2018) the average salary for a data scientist is over $120,000 per year, according to Glassdoor.   Source: Glassdoor   Considering that the median household income in the US is about $55,000 per year, the average salary for a data scientist represents a pretty large premium. Granted, you won’t start out at … Read more

How to rename columns in R

In this blog post, I’ll show you how to rename columns in R. This is pretty straightforward if you know how to do it properly, but there are also some little challenges in renaming variables. So very briefly, I’ll explain why renaming variables in a dataframe can be a little confusing in R. Then, I’ll … Read more

How to create a substring in R

Substring of characters 1 to 6, which reads "fluent"

If you want to be a data scientist, you need to master core data manipulation tools. One particular skill you’ll need to master is string manipulation. You need to be able to work with strings (i.e. character data) in order to clean, modify, or reshape them. In this blog post, you’ll learn one specific string … Read more

A key for mastering data science

A few days ago, I received an email from a Sharp Sight reader. The author of the email is having trouble learning data science in R. He’s taken several data science courses, but still has trouble with critical data science skills. Here’s an excerpt from his email: I’ve redacted the company names, but I’ll tell … Read more

You don’t need to know much math for data science

A pen on a piece of paper with math equations

Recently, a Sharp Sight blog reader emailed me and asked for advice about data science prerequisites. He was nervous about math. Someone had told him that in order to study data science, he needed to learn a long list of math topics first: Precalculus Calculus Multi variable calculus Trigonometry Linear algebra Differential equations Statistics Although … Read more

How to create a crime heatmap in R

As you’re learning data science, you ultimately need to learn several different toolkits. You need to learn the tools of data visualization. You need to learn the tools of data manipulation. You also need a variety of other tools for specialized tasks, like geospatial visualization, machine learning, and others. Here at Sharp Sight, we have … Read more

How to make a density plot in R

A "polished" r density plot made with ggplot2, without a title or axis titles.

For many data scientists and data analytics professionals, as much as 80% of their work is data wrangling and exploratory data analysis. Of course, everyone wants to focus on machine learning and advanced techniques, but the reality is that a lot of the work of many data scientists is a little more mundane. That isn’t … Read more