October 8, 2015

Data Science Trends & Statistics

Talking Data Science

In May 2015, RJMetrics scraped 236 million LinkedIn profiles, roughly 65% of profiles on the site, looking for members who included “data scientist” in their job title or headline, in any of 9 languages. Here are some interesting trends and statistics.

Data Science by trends by numbers
The report tallied a minimum of 11,400 data scientists worldwide. That is the number of complete profiles in which an employees describe themselves as full-time data scientists on LinkedIn. RJMetrics found many incomplete or partially private profiles that included the term data scientist, so the number could be as high as 19,400.

Data Science growth trends and statistics\
According to the report, the number of data scientists has doubled over the last four years. In fact, 50% of all data scientists earned the title within that period.

Data Science demand trends and statistics
Demand for data scientists has outpaced demand for other types of tech professionals, such as engineers or data analysts, by 50%. The study didn’t examine whether companies have slapped the hot title of data scientist on preexisting positions to attract talent or created new positions bearing that title. But the surge in the use of the title itself reflects a telling shift in the skills required by employers.

Data Science Skills Trends
The report showed that the skills required in this profession are computer-related. The top five skills listed for data scientists were data analysis, data mining, machine learning and knowledge of the programming languages R and Python.

Data Science Education Trends and Statistics
The most common doctoral degree held by data scientists - 70% of whom hold masters or doctoral degrees - isn’t computer science but physics. One reason may be that people physicists use computer programs that are similar to those used by data scientists, making the skills transferable from one field to the other. Doctorates in physics use Python and “R,”. Moreover, many physicists work with large data sets, such all particles in the universe. The high level of education associated with data science speaks to what companies describe as a scarcity of talent and helps explain why entry-level jobs in the field can pay around $200,000. All told, in 2012, the most recent year for which the federal government publishes such statistics, roughly 2,500 doctoral degrees awarded were in statistics, biostatistics, particle physics and computer science - fields from which data scientists are typically recruited, according to the National Science Foundation.

Data Science Country Trends
While more than half of data scientists reside in the U.S., Israel has the highest number of data scientists per capita. After the U.S., the U.K., and India have the highest numbers. These results are limited by LinkedIn’s penetration outside the U.S.

Data Science employers / company trends and statistics
Among companies that employ data scientists, Microsoft has the most, the report found. But Microsoft also has the highest attrition rate for data scientists. Google doesn’t seem to use the title very frequently compared to other companies in RJMetrics study.While tech companies like Apple Inc, Facebook Inc., International Business Machines Inc, LinkedIn and Twitter Inc. employ the most in-house data scientists, companies like General Electric Co.and GlaxoSmithKline PLC also hire large numbers of data scientists, the report found. 

Data Science Trends Study Caveats

  • RJ Metrics limited its survey to the LinkedIn membership, which does not represent the entire job market. 
  • The fact that not all companies use the same job titles is another limiting factor. 
  • LinkedIn doesn’t have the same degree of market penetration internationally that it has in the U.S., so the international data should be treated with some skepticism. For the U.S., though, LinkedIn is a helpful barometer.

September 30, 2015

Digital Hiring / Recruitment & Job Search Trends & Statistics

Digital Hiring / Recruitment Automation Trends
A layer of third-party technical recruitment companies is emerging to help startups quickly sift through qualified candidates without spending lots of time on interviewing.
  • For technical recruitments, though the recruitment teams try to pre-qualify candidates, there is still a need for putting engineering resources for technical / coding skills evaluation. 
  • Interviews take precious time of current engineering managers and technical leads, and is a significant cost to a company. 
  • Typical technical interviews, which involve tasks like coding an abstract algorithm in 15 minutes, may have little connection to what engineers actually spend their time doing - which is debugging and analyzing existing code.
Hence a lot of today's typical interview is both expensive and inefficient. We want to lower the cost of interviewing and increase the quality of the signal.

A new perspective to address this: Technology itself! Lets take a look at a tool called Lytmus.

  • Lytmus is a kind of “flight simulator for technical talent.” 
  • It’s an immersive environment where hiring managers can see candidates operating inside of a web-based virtual machine, with an IDE, web browser, sample code and files and a standard problem prompt.
  • Inside Lytmus’ environment, candidates will have to dive into existing code and unpack a software’s design problems in real-time. 
  • Lytmus will passively collect logs of data on the backend so that hiring managers and recruiters can look in afterward to see how they did. 
  • With Lytmus’ business model, the company only gets paid when the platform successfully places a hire.
Some other startups in the field: Triplebyte, Gradberry.

Social Media Job Search & Hiring & Recruitment Trends

Social media can play a major role in finding a job whether a new one or a better one !
  • In 2012, companies were projected to use social media to recruit for more than four out of five job openings. 
  • Some 95% of recruiters have already successfully hired candidates found through LinkedIn. Twitter and Facebook are also helping job-seekers connect with employers.
  • Recruiters use social media for a variety of reasons
    • Saves them money
    • Raises brand awareness
    • Good way to target people with specific skill sets. 
    • Helps them find solid candidates who might otherwise never even get on their radar.
According to Eye-tracking studies
  • People spend an average of under six seconds looking at social media profiles, meaning first impressions are key. 
  • Job titles and profile photos get the most attention, so those are among the most important sections of your page to spruce up.
Data source & Methodology
  • The above data was all pulled together by OnlineDegrees.com, a site that connects students with Internet-based education programs. 
  • OnlineDegrees compiled reports from a variety of sources and research organizations to fill out the picture of how social media can boost your job search.
How to use social media to land a job
Courtesy of: OnlineDegrees.com

September 29, 2015

Liquid Water On Mars: All the Facts

NASA has shared some strong facts and evidence that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars. Using an imaging spectrometer on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet. The detection of hydrated salts on these slopes means that water plays a vital role in the formation of these streaks. Here in in this post we take a look at some of the facts NASA shared as evidence.

The Darkish Streaks (RSLs)
The darkish streaks appear to ebb and flow over time. They darken and appear to flow down steep slopes during warm seasons, and then fade in cooler seasons. They appear in several locations on Mars when temperatures are above minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 23 Celsius), and disappear at colder times. These downhill flows, known as recurring slope lineae (RSL), often have been described as possibly related to liquid water.

The Hydrated Salts (Percholates)
Spectrometer observations show signatures of hydrated salts at multiple RSL locations. Spectral signatures are believed to be caused by hydrated minerals called perchlorates. The hydrated salts most consistent with the chemical signatures are likely a mixture of magnesium perchlorate, magnesium chlorate and sodium perchlorate. Some perchlorates have been shown to keep liquids from freezing even when conditions are as cold as minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 70 Celsius). On Earth, naturally produced perchlorates are concentrated in deserts, and some types of perchlorates can be used as rocket propellant.

Relationship between dark streaks & the hydrated salts
The new findings of hydrated salts on the slopes point to what that relationship may be to these dark features. The hydrated salts would lower the freezing point of a liquid brine, just as salt on roads here on Earth causes ice and snow to melt more rapidly. The detection of hydrated salts on these slopes means that water plays a vital role in the formation of these streaks

These dark, narrow, 100 meter-long streaks called recurring slope lineae flowing downhill on Mars are inferred to have been formed by contemporary flowing water. (Image Source: NASA)
[Updated Sep 2015]
Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed new Android-related user growth statistics and usage trends at its Nexus event in San Francisco. Here are the details
  • Android user growth statistics by Sep 2015: Google’s mobile platform Android now has 1.4 billion 30-day active users globally. 
  • Android user growth statistics by June 2014: Back in June 2014, Google announced it had hit more than 1 billion monthly active users on the Android platform.
  • Android user growth statistics by June & September 2013 : Mountain View had earlier released cumulative figures for Android activations — announcing it had hit 900 million activations in June 2013, when it was adding some 1.5 million new devices per month, and passing the one billion activated Androids mark by September 2013.
Android User Growth Rate Trend
  • Slowest YoY Growth rate: Gartner’s latest smartphone market figures recorded the slowest ever year-over-year growth for Android suggesting Google’s mobile platform Android has hit peak penetration, taking around 82 per cent of the global smartphone market in Q2 this year.
  • Android’s growth in emerging markets: According to Google, usage has “literally doubled” in certain markets over the last year name-checking Indonesia and Vietnam. Android has added 400 million active devices and the momentum is happening around the world especially in emerging economies. In countries like Indonesia and Vietnam Android has literally doubled in the last year. In most of these cases these are people who are adopting a smartphone for the first time

[Updated Feb 2012 ]
According to Andy Rubin, SVP, Mobile and Digital Content for Google:
  • Google’s mobile platform is up 250 percent over last year and
  • Google is seeing 850,000 activations every day. 
  • There are 300 million Google-sanctioned Android devices roaming the world, 12 million of them tablets. That number doesn include devices like the Kindle Fire that do not use Google services.
  • Last year at Mobile World Congress, there were more than 150,000 apps in the Android Market. Now, in the early months of 2012, there are more than 450,000 apps available.

[Dec 2011]
Android Market, the official, Google-sanctioned app marketplace for Android, announced a milestone on Dec 6 2011: 10 billion total downloads.
  • The rate of growth: 1 billion app installs every 30 days.
  • It took 20 months for Android to hit its first billion downloads, and another five months to reach its second billion. 
  • 550k Android devices being activated each day
  • Apple’s App Store has roughly 20 billion cumulative downloads at this point. Apple was seeing one billion monthly downloads.
  • The story is less clear for developers building premium apps, though. During its October event Apple also announced that it’s paid developers on iOS $3 billion to date. Google isn’t breaking that number out for Android, which likely means it doesn’t have anything to boast about on that front.
  • Android being the most widely used smartphone OS in the United States, Americans are actually only the fourth most active app downloaders in the world. South Korea takes the top spot in this category, with Hong Kong and Taiwan coming in second and third respectively.
  • The most popular time to download apps is 9PM on a Sunday
  • Games are the most downloaded apps, although Android users don’t seem to be particularly big sports fans.
Android Users Usage Statistics & Trends 

September 27, 2015

Supermoon Lunar Eclipse: All the facts

Best grabs of the "Super Blood Moon"

And that's my amateur capture

Facts and information about the Supermoon Lunar Eclipse

Stargazers across the globe were in for a treat on Sunday - September 27/28. Here is why. The full Moon of September 27/28 is a Supermoon, which means, the Moon was closest to the Earth or at its perigee. However what makes it more special this time is that a "supermoon" coincided with a total lunar eclipse this Sunday, creating a beautiful sight visible to most of the world — particularly in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and parts of West Asia and the eastern Pacific. Watch this video by NASA to know the phenomenon better.

Fact 1: Supermoon Lunar Eclipse is a truly rare event
Total eclipses of Super Full Moons are rare. According to NASA, they have only occurred 5 times in the 1900s – in 1910, 1928, 1946, 1964 and 1982. After the September 27/ 28, 2015 Total Lunar Eclipse, a Supermoon eclipse will not happen again for another 18 years, until October 8, 2033.

Fact 2: Supermoon Lunar Eclipse is a global spectacle
For the first time in more than 30 years, you can witness a supermoon in combination with a lunar eclipse and this will be visible to most of the world — particularly in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and parts of West Asia and the eastern Pacific

Fact 3: Supermoon Lunar Eclipse to last more than an hour
Sunday’s supermoon eclipse will last 1 hour and 11 minutes. Weather permitting, you can see the supermoon after nightfall, and the eclipse will cast it into shadow beginning at 8:11 p.m. EDT. The total eclipse starts at 10:11 p.m. EDT, peaking at 10:47 p.m. EDT.

Fact 4: Its the "Blood Moon" night!
Throughout human history, lunar eclipses have been viewed with awe and sometimes fear. Today, we know that a total lunar eclipse happens when the full moon passes through the darkest part of Earth's shadow, the umbra. The moon does not make its own light; it reflects light it receives from the sun. During a lunar eclipse, the moon appears less and less bright as sunlight is blocked by the Earth’s shadow. As totality approaches, sunlight reaches the moon indirectly and is refracted around the “edges” of Earth, through Earth’s atmosphere. Because of this, almost all colors except red are “filtered” out, and the eclipsed moon appears reddish or dark brown. This filtering is caused by particulates in our atmosphere; when there have been a lot of fires and/or volcanic eruptions, lunar eclipses will appear darker and redder. This eerie -- but harmless -- effect has earned the phenomenon the nickname “blood moon.”

Image Source: NASA
Fact 5: The Super (big) Moon
A supermoon occurs when a new or full moon is at its closest to the Earth. Because the orbit of the moon is not a perfect circle, the moon is sometimes closer to the Earth than at other times during its orbit. When the moon is farthest away it’s known as apogee, and when it’s closest it’s known as perigee. On Sept. 27, we’re going to have a perigee full moon—the closest full moon of the year. At perigee, the moon is about 31,000 miles closer to Earth than at apogee. This proximity makes the moon appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter in the sky than an apogee full moon, hence the term "supermoon."

Fact 5: Challenge for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)
Sunday's eclipse poses a challenge for the space agency's solar-powered Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which has been orbiting the moon for over 6 years. LRO is not designed to operate during eclipses. NASA hence plans to heat the spacecraft up because it gets very cold during the eclipse, they also turn off all the instruments except for one. The sole LRO instrument that will remain operational is the spacecraft's Diviner, a radiometer that measures reflected energy off the surface of the moon. With LRO in orbit behind the moon on Sunday, the spacecraft will be out of sunlight for a little over three hours.

September 21, 2015

Getting Personal: Trends in Digital Personalization

Personalization is the practice of tailoring a product, platform (site / app) or service to the preferences and needs of each user. For the purpose of this post we would would restrict the discussion to digital personalization as that is something that most of us may have already experienced.  

Personalization is not new. Its already here and been here long enough. An ecommerce site recommendation (Amazon screenshot below) based on past purchases and searches on the site, is almost an expectation these days. 

Amazon.com personalized product recommendation

So is the Youtube's video content recommendations based on content browsing history.

Another example of personalization is Google Now. Based on your past searches, travel plans / events in your email or even other signals gathered from your behavior, you get personalized cards. 

Google Now Personalized cards
We are touching just the tip of the iceberg here and there are several solutions around for a while:
  • StumbleUpon provides content based on selected categories and other “Stumblers” you follow. 
  • Flipboard’s personalized magazine is like a social news platform where you personalize your own experience by curating content sources and following people. 
  • Pinterest has a follow model for people, their content and topics. It also has a guided search with combinable keywords works as an additional interface alongside the curated feed.
How important is personalization and why are brands striving for it
An interesting survey by Janrain highlights the need as well as urgency for personalization. This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Janrain from June 28th – July 2nd, 2013 among 2,091 adults ages 18 and older. Here are some key insights from the survey.
  • 74 percent get frustrated with websites when content, offers, ads, promotions, etc. appear that have nothing to do with their interests
  • 67 percent would leave the site if asked for donations from a political party that they dislike the most
  • 57 percent would leave the site if they were married and shown ads for a dating service
  • 50 percent would leave the site if shown a recommendation to purchase underwear that is for the opposite gender
Brands have taken note and Personalization is working - not only for consumers but brands as well 
While personalization is key to ensure customer experience, its yielding much more than customer satisfaction for brands. 
  • Personalized emails improve clickthrough rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%.[Source: aberdeen.com]
  • The top reasons for U.S. email users to unsubscribe from a business or nonprofit email subscription are too many emails (69%) and content that is no longer relevant (56%). [Source: ChadwickMartinBailey]
  • In a study of more than 93,000 calls-to-action created using HubSpot, and hundreds of millions of views over a 12-month period, HubSpot found that calls-to-action targeted to the user had a 42% higher view-to-submission rate than calls-to-action that were the same for all visitors. (Source: HubSpot)
  • In-house marketers who are personalizing their web experiences and who are able to quantify the improvement see, on average, a 19% uplift in sales. (Source: Monetate/eConsultancy)
  • 40% of consumers buy more from retailers who personalize the shopping experience across channels. (Source: MyBuys)
  • Leads who are nurtured with targeted content produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities. (Source: DemandGen)
  • A high-impact recommendation from a trusted friend conveying a relevant message is up to 50 times more likely to trigger a purchase than a low-impact recommendation. (Source: McKinsey) 
  • In a study of 650 multi-channel marketing campaigns, personalized campaigns consistently and overwhelmingly beat out static campaigns in generating a high response rate from recipients. (Source: MindFire) 
Potential challenges in Personalization 
As we saw earlier, personalization is gaining traction within many technology companies. However as per a survey by Neolane and DMA, the top three reasons for not having implemented “dynamic personalized content” across channels were as follows:

  • Complexity of systems (50%)
  • Access to real-time data (46%)
  • Data privacy issues (45%)

While complexity of systems and real time data access are technology issues which companies are solving through technology investments, data privacy is a larger issue hindering progress, which is prevalent across use cases we have seen so far.

As we have seen, personalization works for both businesses and consumers. Infact as per a Janrain survey, 57 percent consumers are OK with providing personal information on a website as long as it’s for their benefit and being used in responsible ways. This shows that while consumers realize the benefit of personalization, there is a trust deficit towards the usage of their personal data.

Transparency is the key

In the same Janrain survey mentioned above, 77 percent of respondents shared that they would trust businesses more if they explained how they’re using personal information to improve their online experience. Knowing what data is getting used by personalization system helps build trust for the system which can encourage customers share more information with greater level of comfort. This can in turn help the personalization systems perform better both for the consumers and for the business. In addition, personalization systems should consider informing customers why they are being recommended what is recommended. This gives consumers ability to shape their preferences as seen by the personalization system thereby helping co-create the best personalization solution which works for both the consumer and the business.


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