Data Science and Agile (What works, and what doesn’t)

Since I last posted on moderating a panel on Data Science and Agile, some have reached out for my views on this. This topic is also discussed among the data science community, with questions on how agile can be incorporated into a data science team, and how to get the gains in productivity.

Can agile work well with data science? (Hint: If it can’t, this post, and the next, won’t exist.)

In this post, we’ll discuss on the strengths and weaknesses of Agile in the context of Data Science. At risk of irritating agile practitioners, I may refer to Agile and Scrum interchangeably. Nonetheless, do note that Scrum is an agile process framework, and there are others such as Kanban, etc. In the next post, I’ll share some agile adjustments and practices that have proven to be useful—at least in the teams I’ve led. Stay tuned!

Data science is part software engineering, part research and innovation, and fully about using data to create impact and value. Aspects of data science that work well with agile tend to be more of the engineering nature, while those closer related to research tends not to fit as well.

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