DJ Patil

DJ Patil

U.S. Chief Data Scientist with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON June 09, 2016

Discussion

DJ Patil
DJ Patil@dj44 · White House Chief Data Scientist
Hi - I'm DJ Patil, the United States' first Chief Data Scientist. I'm developing policies and practices to help the U.S. maintain its leadership in tech and innovation, fostering partnerships to maximize the Nation’s return on its investment in data, and helping attract and retain the best minds in data science to serve the public. I'm so happy to be here-- ask me anything!
DJ Patil
DJ Patil@dj44 · White House Chief Data Scientist
Hey #USA! Great to be here & talking about the President's drive to responsibly unleash the power of data to benefit all Americans!
COSTAS ANDRIOPOULOS
COSTAS ANDRIOPOULOS@candriopoulos · https://medium.com/strictly-curious
Hello DJ, thanks for taking our questions. 1. Where do you look for emerging trends (e.g. sources, events, websites, etc.) and 2. What kind of tools do you currently use?
DJ Patil
DJ Patil@dj44 · White House Chief Data Scientist
@candriopoulos My favorite site to look for data is data.gov. You'll find almost 200,000 data sets! Everything from weather data to health care data. It's a phenominal resource. For trends, my favorite thing is to go to meetups. There are great ones on tech, data, etc. This weekend, it was awesome to hang out with Charlotte, Miami, and St. Louis and see how cities are using data in novel ways. To learn more about it, check out: https://cache.codeforamerica.org... The other thing that I'm luck to have is time with the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. The are not only amazing in their specialties, but also that they are a great sounding board. The best thig there is to check out their reports. https://www.whitehouse.gov/admin...
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
If you had to nominate 3 tech leaders from Silicon Valley to run for President of the United States for 2020, who'd you pick and why?
neeharika sinha
neeharika sinha@neeeharika · Google, Threadchannel
Hello DJ, so great to meet you here. 1) What were the challenges of being the first Chief data scientist on a national level? 2)How would you say your work is drastically different from private sector ( data related work) ? 3) What are the must know skills to be a proficient data scientist? Thanks a lot.
DJ Patil
DJ Patil@dj44 · White House Chief Data Scientist
@neeeharika Well first, I had to learn to tie a tie. There are many more knots now days… The biggest challenge is how you prioritize your time. There are so many incredible things to work on! (Did you know that we’ll have the 1st White House Organ Summit on Monday? https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/...) The best part is how focused the President is on making sure we deliver on our commitments. It’s very much like a startup. You have to work in ambiguity, create clarity, and always be shipping! Most of all the big shift is you really have to think about the edge cases. Every edge case is a person. That person has a name, a family, and a story. We can never forget that. I’ve got some of those people’s pictures and letters around my desk as a reminder that we have to think deeply about everything we do.
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
a. What was your main motivation for going into public service instead of starting up a new company or joining Apple/Google/Facebook/a rising startup? b. Any plans for starting a new company following your tenure in the White House?
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
What has most surprised you about being the United States' first Chief Data Scientist?
DJ Patil
DJ Patil@dj44 · White House Chief Data Scientist
@ems_hodge The most awesome thing is how amazing America really is. If you want to get a sense of power of our remarkable country, hang out at a science fair. We just had one here at the White House and I was amazed at the work all these “kids” are doing. They’re literally figuring out how to deal with everything from preventing renal failure to launching two young girls who figured out how to launch a toy into space. https://www.whitehouse.gov/scien... When we bring the full force of the United States of America to solve a problem, we can do wonders! That’s why the President has us so focused on the Precision Medicine Initiative and the Cancer Moonshot.
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
What advice would you give to someone looking to work for the government?
DJ Patil
DJ Patil@dj44 · White House Chief Data Scientist
@ems_hodge It's awesome. The most important thing to do is understand why people made the decisions that they did. 2nd, you have to always focus on the big picutre and the unintended consequences of your actions/choices. Finally, always remember who you're fighting for. Get away from your desk and talk to the people you really work for-- the public.
Lesley Wu
Lesley Wu@deleted-407305
No answer...
Thomas R Stone
Thomas R Stone@thomasrorystone · Co-founder, PredictionIO
Hey DJ, Before RelateIQ you were at Greylock as "Data Scientist in Residence". Given your experience at Greylock what are you thoughts on potential of using data to make better investment decisions? Is there potential to better understand different factors (Team, Product and Market), especially in early stage private companies? Who do you think are the leaders in this respect (Correlation Ventures, Google Ventures, etc..)? My company PredictionIO is now part of SalesforceIQ (i.e., RelateIQ) and heard lots of VCs were early adopters! Thanks for doing the AMA. Thomas
Mukul  Bagga
Mukul Bagga@indianmarketeer · Founder and CEO, DigiBridge Healthcare
In the cancer moon shot - which single technology/initiative would you bet your money on?
DJ Patil
DJ Patil@dj44 · White House Chief Data Scientist
@indianmarketeer Data! Check out the President's approach to his Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) https://youtu.be/5dpwG8HpPgI PMI is the launching pad for many of the health initiatives that we’ll want to go after. The first being cancer! Associated with this are going to be the need for privacy and security. Check out what we’ve done on that here  https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites... And https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/... The biggest bet at the end of the day is now having particpatnts as true partners in research. Empowering them with their own data is key.
(((K. Dickson)))
(((K. Dickson)))@kldneuro · Grad student
@indianmarketeer Not just data but experiments properly designed to get good data. Great data gets thrown out all the time because the experiment and analysis wasn't just right.
Alden Marshall
Alden Marshall@aldenmarshall · Lover of politics and beta testing
Is it better to be data driven or data informed?
DJ Patil
DJ Patil@dj44 · White House Chief Data Scientist
@aldenmarshall There's only one thing that bad and that what we call being data-stupid. That’s when you take the human out of the loop. Data driven organization: A data-driven organization acquires, processes, and leverages data in a timely fashion to create efficiencies, iterate on and develop new products, and navigate the competitive landscape. Data driven government: Data-driven government responsibly gathers, processes, leverages, and releases data in a timely fashion to enable transparency, create efficiencies, provides security, foster innovation In both of these models data is used to make better decisions. There is always a time when you may need to ignore the data. But when that happens, you have to have the ability to monitor and meaure to allow you to iterate FAST!
priya joseph
priya joseph@ayirpelle · Entrepreneur
How do we get you to do a tech venture fund that is Cuba focused out of USCTO's office? Such a greenfield infrastructure opportunity is almost once in a lifetime.
Jay Chen
Jay Chen@chenjay12 · CEO, myHealthyBee.com
DJ, I run a startup focus on healthy pregnancy and healthy mommy. I have 2 questions: a.) What are the resources we can tap into from the federal government. E.g. access to population health data related the pregnancy, babycare, etc. b.) Once President Obama leaves office, how will the next administration impact the programs at your office. Will it continue?
DJ Patil
DJ Patil@dj44 · White House Chief Data Scientist
@chenjay12 Check out the awesome datasets from CMS; https://www.cms.gov/OpenPayments... We’re focused on how these efforts will continue. To get a sense of this, check out the great work by GSA and 18F: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/conten... There are also what are called Executive Orders (EO). For example, the President’s EOs on: All data must be open and machine readable by default https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-p...- Creating the Presidential Innovation Fellows https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-p... The National Strategic Computing Initiative: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-p...
Jay Chen
Jay Chen@chenjay12 · CEO, myHealthyBee.com
@dj44 DJ, thanks for the response! Good luck for the remaining of your tenure.
Jay Chen
Jay Chen@chenjay12 · CEO, myHealthyBee.com
@kldneuro Thank you for answering additional data sources!
Tuan Dang
Tuan Dang@tuanldang
Hi DJ, I am a fan. Thanks for taking questions. How can we use data science / technology to help with cancer treatment? How can we attract tech talents / startups to go in the healthcare field to disrupt and innovate?
DJ Patil
DJ Patil@dj44 · White House Chief Data Scientist
@tuanldang Thanks! The biggest thing we have to do is break down the data silos! To much of the data is locked up. Locked up from the patient, locked up from the researcher, locked up from the care team. We unlock the data and we'll find insights that will accelerate tailored treatments at an incredible pace. This is why the President launched the Precision Medicine Inititative and then the Cancer Moonshot.
David D. LaCroix
David D. LaCroix@daviddlacroix · Director of Operations, Versatile PhD
Hopefully, sophisticated compilers, users, and consumers of data and information have given up saying things like, "It speaks for itself." But when you do encounter that point of view, how do you make sure to keep the context, assumptions, and ideas behind data and information from slipping out of sight?
David D. LaCroix
David D. LaCroix@daviddlacroix · Director of Operations, Versatile PhD
... especially in regulatory and policy settings, but also in more nuts-and-bolts settings where one might be helping a client or user.
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@ettinger · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
Thanks for joining, DJ! So many questions: 1) Whose idea was it to create this position? 2) Were you appointed and how long is your term? 3) What did you do before this role? What's next?
Ed Parkes
Ed Parkes@edtparkes
Hi DJ. What do you think are the key things that non-data people in Government need to know about data science? How can we support them to make the most of the opportunity of these new techniques? Cheers.
Theoharis Dimarhos
Theoharis Dimarhos@theo_dimarhos · Marketing+Biz Dev at AngelouEconomics
Hi DJ. How do you take data and turn them into meaningful narratives that people can care about?
CRESCYNT
CRESCYNT@crescyntrcn
We also appreciate data.gov as a repository! What are your favorite repositories to recommend for scientists and engineers to upload their data, protocols, etc. INTO for open, transparent, reproducible science - where there's not already a disciplinary consensus? Dataverse? Zenodo? Or, what are your prime criteria for repository selection? So: 1) Where would you like to see the long tail of science live? 2) Are there platforms that you think are great examples of ways to take those data out for exercise?
Sheriff
Sheriff@sheriffrgf · Consultant @ RGF (Recruit Holdings)
Hello DJ, Greeting from India ! Quick question. Wouldn't you think countries like India who have leapfrogged through higher growth rates propelled by technology also need to to have chief data officers like US has which i believe is at a very later stage ?
DJ Patil
DJ Patil@dj44 · White House Chief Data Scientist
@sheriffrgf Every city, state, region, and country can beenfit with *responsibly* unleashing data to benefit the public.
Sheriff
Sheriff@sheriffrgf · Consultant @ RGF (Recruit Holdings)
@dj44 Thanks DJ !
Sheriff
Sheriff@sheriffrgf · Consultant @ RGF (Recruit Holdings)
Hi DJ, 2nd Q: We all know politics and law making is a mucky tug of war and Data brings dosent lie ensuring transparency. How has your journey been in helping lawmakers take decisions based on data ?
DJ Patil
DJ Patil@dj44 · White House Chief Data Scientist
@sheriffrgf Great question! Data is also about listening. It's about understanding the questions and concerns of all sides of the problem. Then using data to foster the dialogue. The best example of this that I've seen? Using data from police departments to understand how to thing about the next generation of policing. https://medium.com/the-white-hou...
Sheriff
Sheriff@sheriffrgf · Consultant @ RGF (Recruit Holdings)
Hi DJ, Q 3: "Too much of data creates too much of noise". Does the voluminous amount data dealt by the US govt also throws in anomalies which might result in erroneous decision making. During such cases what is your role in solving the issue ?
Sheriff
Sheriff@sheriffrgf · Consultant @ RGF (Recruit Holdings)
Hi DJ, Q 4: As of 2016, the world is driven by technology and there is information explosion in every country. Is it imperative for every country at any level of growth to have a Chief Data Officer ?
Sheriff
Sheriff@sheriffrgf · Consultant @ RGF (Recruit Holdings)
Hi DJ Q 5: Is there any law/legislation which was enacted recently you could quote which involved your teams effort in supplementing the required data to build the necessary merit for enactment/passing ?
Sheriff
Sheriff@sheriffrgf · Consultant @ RGF (Recruit Holdings)
Hi DJ Q 6: Is it safe to infer that US Govt recruited you to ensure they stay ahead in terms of technology know-how than their private corporations who are getting better with AI & stuff ?
Sarim Haq
Sarim Haq@sarim_haq · AI Whisperer
Hi DJ Patil, I was curious, do you have a software of choice for crunching big data? Moreover, do you know of any repository of big data API services? Thanks!
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
What are some examples of the policies and practices that you're currently working on to help the US maintain its leadership in tech and innovation?
DJ Patil
DJ Patil@dj44 · White House Chief Data Scientist
@tomstocklein Let's talk about the things that just happened this week & next: 1. Precision Medicine: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/... 2. Data to help on the next generation of policing: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-p... 3. The Oppertunity Project: http://www.techrepublic.com/arti... 4. The Organ Summit: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/... 5. Big data and the intersection of civil rights: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/... 6. AI for Social Good! https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/... Whew! Stay tuned for so much more that will be coming soon!
Ajit
Ajit@4jit · Professional questioner of everything
@dj44 @tomstocklein AI for social good sounds pretty interesting.
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
As a data scientist what's your take on the Julia language? Will it become a viable alternative to R?
Alden Marshall
Alden Marshall@aldenmarshall · Lover of politics and beta testing
What is the greatest insight you've learned from data?
Karim Daghari
Karim Daghari@deleted-538914
What, in your opinion, is the best way (a) government can encourage its tech engineers and foster a techy mindset (i.e tech becomes one of the essential tools that help solve problems) ?
DJ Patil
DJ Patil@dj44 · White House Chief Data Scientist
@karimdaghari Awesome question! There are a whole bunch of amazing things happening here that the President has created: 1. Presidential Innovation Fellows https://www.whitehouse.gov/innov... 2. U.S. Digital Service https://www.whitehouse.gov/parti... 3. Opportunity Project https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-p...
Justin Wilson
Justin Wilson@jawhster
Thanks for taking questions. 1) Is data available on attendance and voting records of congress? 2) What other data is available? Campaign financing? Salary? Etc? That way voters can verify claims made by politicians. Also, my wife just graduated with PhD in statistics. 3) Can she connect with you to discuss opportunities? Thank you!
Amit Singh
Amit Singh@sanscolon · Student
Hi DJ, what drives you towards data science as opposed to computer science - where the skill set can often overlap?
DJ Patil
DJ Patil@dj44 · White House Chief Data Scientist
@sanscolon I’m a fan of all science! Data, CS, math, etc. Check out the writing that Hilary Mason and I have done on this to get more of my personal views.
David D. LaCroix
David D. LaCroix@daviddlacroix · Director of Operations, Versatile PhD
I'll save everyone a search: Data Driven: Creating a Data Culture http://www.oreilly.com/data/free...
(((K. Dickson)))
(((K. Dickson)))@kldneuro · Grad student
@sanscolon Data science does not seem to be all that different from statistics, with the tacking-on of informatics aspects (not dissimilar from the distinctions between statistics as applied to biology and bioinformatics). Computer science doesn't seem to overlap all that much with it except in, possibly, the act of using a programming language to set up complex analyses for data and finding new ways to use computer programs to analyze data.
Bob Dinegar
Bob Dinegar@bobdinegar · Senior Advisor, Emerging Technologies
How do you advise vendors with new data analytics offerings to get on your radar?
Carlos Herrera
Carlos Herrera@carlosherrera · Software Engineer, Epicor Software
First of all, I found your role very interesting, thanks for taking our questions. What are your main activities in your position related to actually manage data? Which data sources do you have?
Ajit
Ajit@4jit · Professional questioner of everything
Can you tell us some of your plans and actions which you have executed once you had taken up this role?
DJ Patil
DJ Patil@dj44 · White House Chief Data Scientist
@4jit Hey Ajit! Check out the answer I just posted.
Ajit
Ajit@4jit · Professional questioner of everything
Can you tell us how a data scientist or a team of data scientists can change or affect a nation's path?
DJ Patil
DJ Patil@dj44 · White House Chief Data Scientist
@4jit Check out our talk at the Commonwealth Club in Ca on exactly this topic! http://www.commonwealthclub.org/... The bottom line is that every technologist can have an enormous impact. There's never been a better time to work on a problem bigger than you and will impact your kids and your kids' kids.
Ruslan Belkin
Ruslan Belkin@ruslansv · VP Engineering, Salesforce via RelateIQ
How do you guys celebrate your successes as a team?
DJ Patil
DJ Patil@dj44 · White House Chief Data Scientist
@ruslansv with presidental M&Ms and the American Flag in the background. In all seriousness, there isn’t a whole lot of time to celebrate. There are so many things to work on, we’re always focused on what’s next.
(((K. Dickson)))
(((K. Dickson)))@kldneuro · Grad student
Can you tell us a little bit about the connections you and your staff have with subject-area experts in science, engineering, social science, and other fields to tell the right story from the data you have? You can do an ANOVA or run a regression on lots of things but as we all know, you have to know what you're really analyzing and why.
Randy Ksar
Randy Ksar@djksar · I find cool things
DJ, thanks for the opportunity and you've come a long way since our Monta Vista / Cupertino days! What can teachers incorporate into their curriculum to teach the younger generation about data science?
DJ Patil
DJ Patil@dj44 · White House Chief Data Scientist
@djksar Hey Randy great to hear from you! The coolest thing is the ease at which we can incorporate data into the curriculum. You can get amazing data sets (almost 200,000) from data.gov. Also I’d love to see us combine the liberal arts with data. For example, speaking. We need to have the ability to have storytelling and presentation with data. What I mean by that is that we don’t just analyze data, but we teach, debate, and discuss data with others.