Why Sherlock Holmes is the ultimate data scientist

Sandeep Sachdeva - rarely do you come across a personality that fits a certain role. It is even more rare to find a personality that fits a role perfectly.  

In the ability of Sherlock Holmes to gain unique insights using the data in front of him, brought to him, and infer from the missing components we have a perfect Data Scientist. So all you Data Scientists out there, you should be very proud of what you do and what you bring to the table in this world. 

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Here are five thoughts on some of the things that set Sherlock Holmes apart as a data scientist:

1. Singular Focus

He is obsessed with finding the answer to the question that is front of him. The term I like, is he is a “Man on Fire” and that fire is not extinguished until the answer is found. That Singular Focus is very important for a Data Scientist. He should know the question that he is looking to answer. And then start a mission to get all the information needed to get the answer. The question needs to be intellectually stimulating and challenging. In the mind of the data scientist the impact of the answer, when found, should be huge. That leads to a unique combination which lights up the man to do what it takes to get to the answer. As both the question and the impact of the answer are huge.

2. All data has purpose and meaning

Mr. Holmes has been showing this to us for a very long time. We are now at a point where we can build an engine that can use different sets and types of data to gain Sherlock Holmes like insights. If you have data it has meaning. It serves a purpose, but it will provide insights through the direct and indirect use of the data. Direct use is when you build out the graphs, correlations, algorithms to verify patterns, trends, kpi's etc. Indirect uses are the sentiment, behavior, thought process leading to the capability to influence. Use all of your data and demand both direct and indirect indicators from the data so that you can set your company apart from the rest.

3. Play the Violin

While it is very important to stay the course and push hard to get to an answer. It is equally important to know your limits. Once you know your limits then you are limitless. Because you know how to manage that limitation. Find your violin so that you know when and how to de-stress. Take a mental vacation, clear out the mind and thoughts so that you can focus on really what is important.

4. Make the connection: The dogs were silent

It is very important to fully know and understand the potential of what the data is telling you. But it is very important to be able to make the connection between the data and the question. When the dogs were silent, it meant that the person was a known entity during a crime scene. Making that connection between what the data is telling you and how it connects to the question is one of the most important ingredient for success.

5. Energize

Each clue, each data point, each trip, each meeting that Sherlock Holmes had during a case pushed him harder to find the answer. He was energized and the energy level would only go higher as the case progressed which in turn made him more determined. A Data Scientist is energized in the same way as he progresses toward the answer. It is like solving a mystery, the more complex the better. The question, the answer the process, the data, the methodology all inspire and thus energize the data scientist.

Your investigation

So go and find your Sherlock Holmes and then set him free on the data set that you have. Give him the challenging question, then let him figure it out. More importantly though is to ensure that you provide him with the platform that will unlock his imagination and be able to swim freely in the data. This would be a platform that provides access to the data within your company, but also be able to integrate data from the outside.

Release your BigData Potential

BigData platform has matured to the point where it will make this possible for you. Sogeti can help with both the requests one of building that integrated BigData based platform. And if you so desire the set of Data Scientists who would lead you to a sustainable competitive advantage, e-mail Chris Vlaanderen or phone him via telephone number +31 (0)88 660 6600.