Data science startup Recorded Future has mapped online discussions and news about big data in relations to various cities over the last four years (HT Michael Morisy). New York leads, followed by Boston/Cambridge and San Francisco. Maybe we should change the widely-used definition of a data scientist as “a data analyst living in California” to “a data analyst living on the East Coast.” The idea that where you live and work still matters in the virtual world that was supposed to kill geography, was also endorsed by Gilad Lotan’s mapping of interactions among data scientists on Twitter, finding distinct East Coast and West Coast clusters (HT David Smith).
So we know where most U.S. data scientists live, but what do they do for a living? They work for political campaigns, most recently the Obama and Romney campaigns, as was documented extensively over the last week by Sasha Issenberg in Technology Review , Michael Kranish at the Boston Globe, and Enagage Research (PDF here, including the Obama Campaign’s org chart) which predicted that in four years “the media will stand up their own Analytics shops to better understand how voters are moving in real time,” as real-time analytics overtakes polling.
Data scientists are also changing the music industry, according to Wills Mills, in places like Shazam, The Echo Nest, and Live Nation Labs; collecting and analyzing data, according to James Robinson, to map traffic flows (Waze) and WiFi coverage maps (RootMetrics, Sensorly, and OpenSignal); and they “crunch and decode healthcare data to unlock the mysteries of what treatment will work