Datacast Episode 10: Linguist turned Data Scientist with Matthias Raess

I’m creating a new podcast about Data Science called Datacast! The 10th episode is my conversation with Matthias Raess, Data Analytics Manager at Live Intent. Give it a listen to learn about his time as an academic teacher in Germany, his Ph.D. work in linguistics, his recommendation for resources to learn data science, plus many more.

Matthias, a linguist turned data scientist, finished his Ph.D. in May 2018 and is currently working as a Manager, Data Analytics at LiveIntent. In his day-to-day, he builds dashboards and models, and runs analyses that drive business decisions and provide stakeholders with meaningful access to data. He enjoys empowering people with data by visualizing and analyzing various types of data visually and/or with statistical and machine learning approaches. He is an avid R/RStudio/RStudio Connect user.


Show Notes:

  • (2:22) Matthias recalled his experience getting a Master’s Degree in English, History, and Political Science from the University of Regensburg in Germany.

  • (3:19) Matthias discussed his Master’s Thesis looking at the formation and transformation of 9/11-memory in American news weeklies as well as the importance of project management skills.

  • (6:00) Matthias talked about his 2 years with the Professional Teacher Training Program working for the Bavarian Government.

  • (7:48) Matthias extracted the most useful skills obtained from his experience as an academic high school teacher.

  • (9:33) Matthias went over his decision to pursue a Ph.D. in Linguistics at Ball State University in 2013.

  • (12:04) Matthias explained why he chose to study Linguistics.

  • (13:01) For his Ph.D. dissertation, Matthias did an in-depth analysis of German tweets, where he investigated the interaction between language, demographics, and personality of German users on Twitter.

  • (15:52) Matthias discussed in detail his end-to-end data science approach towards his Ph.D. thesis project.

  • (22:38) Matthias provided insights on the challenges in dealing with linguistic data.

  • (25:35) Matthias talked about the benefits of getting a certificate in statistical modeling, including learning about Generalized Linear Models.

  • (29:15) Matthias mentioned his work as a data science consultant at Ball State’s Digital Scholarship Lab.

  • (31:20) Matthias gave out resources to learn data science using the R statistical language, including DataCampUdemyCoursera, and Lynda.

  • (35:26) Matthias reflected on his job search experience for a data science role after finishing his Ph.D. degree coming from a non-traditional background.

  • (42:30) Matthias went over interesting projects that he has involved with at LiveIntent, his current employer.

  • (45:18) Matthias talked about his recent move from a Data Analyst role to a Data Analytics Manager role.

  • (47:10) Matthias emphasized the value of communication skills as a data science leader.

  • (49:55) Matthias identified the single biggest difference between doing data science in the industry versus in academia.

  • (53:09) Matthias briefly talked about the data science community in New York (check out New York R User Group Meetup).

  • (54:13) Closing segments.

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His Recommended Resources: