Data Artist

Data comes natural to me.

By data I mean numerical, categorical, ordinal variables you see in a typical database. It was hard to believe at first but when I thought of my mom who works as an accountant for 30 years, it becomes less difficult for me to admit the fact that I do have some of her analytic genes in me. Or, perhaps, a lot.

But I prefer to call myself a data “artist” than data analyst. Because I believe there’s something more in me than just what it takes to analyze the data. I feel it too.

I understand their characters, their nature. I watch their behaviors, and correct them if necessary, because some of them do lie, and others are just loud, noisy, and messy.

They are my soldiers. I got to train them well before they can fight a war and be unbeatable. So I line them up, group them into a matrix, assign different missions for each one, and lay out a battlefield strategy for them to practice.

A well-trained data set is powerful. They tell you secrets no one else knows. They were like lifeless dirt before and now with a touch from the supernatural, something breathed life into them. My data came to life. And they become my best friend. I love working with them daily, speaking their language – programming languages.

These computer languages come natural to me too. Sorry if that’s giving you a heart attack! It was embarrassing to me at first because who would have thought a girl like me would love programming???  Not a very girly thing to do is it? But it all makes sense because learning English as a second language was much much harder comparing to learning a computer language, at least that’s how I feel.

So here I am, a data artist, who loves what she does.

I’m not sure if I love what I do because I’m naturally good at it or I’m good at it because I love doing it.

Maybe it’s both. No one is born to be good at something without having to practice it a lot, neither I know anyone who can practice something a lot without loving it first.

I’m reading The Creative Habits – a best seller by Twyla Tharp. An amazing dancer and choreographer who believes also creativity is a habit, an acquired skill rather than something given.

I like data artist title not only because I love art. but also on the job that I do, a lot of creativity is required to be able to do it well. I’ll explain why it is so next time.

Ph.D. in Economics with interests in Life Science, Behavioral Science, Health Economics Evaluation and Health Technology Assessment. Executive MBA student at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business in Hong Kong, graduating in 2020.

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