The Power of Small Actions: Driving Change in Data Science
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The Power of Small Actions: Driving Change in Data Science

Basty’s Notebook

Hi, everyone! My name is Basty, and I’m a data scientist and educator from Metro Manila. If there’s something I value so much, that is education. Education has allowed me to not only dive into the amazing world of code and data, but also to encourage and inspire others to do the same. Read more about me here.

Outside of work and school, I love playing video games like Valorant and League of Legends. I also love listening to Broadway musicals (HAMILTON, DEH, TICK TICK BOOM ALL THE WAY!). Lastly, I LOVE watching Friends, New Girl, HIMYM, and The Big Bang Theory.

Now, let’s take a look at my notebook!

March 2023 Notebook entry

We are now in the month of March, and the theme for this month is “Within you is the power to make a difference” (quite cinematic right). Everyone has the power to make a difference, but how are you going to bring that power out within you, if you aren’t even aware of what you can do to make a difference? Not unless you’re a superhero like Superman. The reality is that most people don’t know about doing even the tiniest of things to make changes to help other people. As data people, I believe we have the ability to drive meaningful impact with our work, and this potential can only be realized if you have a clear understanding of how you can develop your skills to create positive change in the world of data science. Let me provide you with some key points that I believe can help you make a difference in your own life as well as in the field of data. Let’s get started!

Ripple effect

As a data person, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the large amounts of data we work with and the complex problems we try to solve. Sometimes, it may seem like our small actions, such as cleaning data or running a simple model, have little to no impact on the larger issues we face—like improving healthcare. However, even the smallest actions we take as data people can have a significant impact on the world around us. 

This is something we like to call the ripple effect. Ripple effect is defined as the “spreading results of an action”. When we take the time to clean and organize our data, or even just create a simple linear regression model to identify trends, we’re actually creating a positive vibe that can spread from person to person, creating a chain reaction of progress! 

Let’s take into account the healthcare industry as an example. If we use data to identify patterns that can be addressed with simple interventions, these interventions can have a real impact on patients’ health outcomes. This in return can create a cycle that leads to real change. 

A sense of community

Another reason that small actions are so powerful is that they can help to create a sense of community and collaboration. When we share our findings with others, we show that we care about their work and that we are invested in the larger mission of improving the world through data. This can help to break down barriers between individuals and teams, and create a sense of common purpose. By taking small actions to support those around us, we can build stronger and more effective data teams that are better equipped to tackle the challenges of the world.

Now I know that you might be thinking “are small actions even enough?” Of course, it's important to acknowledge that small actions alone are not enough to solve all of the world's data problems. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re not valuable. Even if we can't solve all of the world's problems, we can still make a positive impact in our own work and in the lives of those around us. This can help to build momentum for larger-scale change, and inspire others to take action as well.

The power of small actions as a data scientist lies in their accessibility and scalability. We can start by taking small actions in our own work, with our teams, and in our communities. For example, we can mentor junior analysts or donate our time to analyze data for a nonprofit. These small actions can be especially powerful when they come from a place of empathy and understanding. By understanding the needs of our stakeholders and colleagues, we can create data products and insights that truly make a difference.

One good example of a community that you can actually join is Omdena. It is a collaborative platform where data people from around the world gather together to solve real-world problems. Their main advocacy lies in social-impact. By joining communities like Omdena, your small action becomes a part of a larger action. 

Creating impact

It’s essential to remember that small actions can have a profound impact on our own careers and lives. When we take the time to master a new technique or tool, or use data to make a difference in someone's life, we create positive energy that can come back to us in unexpected ways. The act of creating impact can be its own reward, creating a sense of purpose and meaning in our work that can be deeply fulfilling.

In conclusion, the power of small actions as a data scientist should not be underestimated. Every action we take, no matter how small, has the potential to create a ripple effect that can spread out into the world, inspiring others to take action and creating positive change. Whether it's cleaning data, creating a simple model, or sharing insights with colleagues, these small actions can be a powerful tool for building stronger data teams and creating a better world. As data scientists, we have the power to make a difference, one small action at a time.

Never stop learning!