A Dating Site for Data Science

There may come a day (shudder) when I am called upon to find what my mother refers to as “a real job”. I’m not sure how I would go about it. For the past 30 years, here is how my career has gone.

  • I was walking in the door at the university where I had dropped in to visit a friend. A professor I’d known as a student years ago was walking out the other door. She said, “Hey, AnnMaria, I need a statistical consultant. Are you available?”
  • I was walking in the door of my obstetrician’s office when I ran into someone else I had known years ago. She had been seeing another doctor in the same office. She said, “Hey, I just got a grant and need a statistician.”
  • I was bored one day and applied for a job on Dice.com. They called up, interviewed me and hired me.
  • I was bored one day and applied for a job I saw advertised in the Chronicle of Higher Ed. They interviewed me and hired me.

I think one can clearly detect a pattern here, mainly that I should spend more time walking in doors to buildings.

When getting a new job, I’ve generally been in the work equivalent of “married but looking”. I know that sounds horrible but what I mean is that I have had a job that I was considering getting out of, but I didn’t necessarily want the people at the job to know that.

This problem is common to people in any field, but I think those in analytic jobs have another problem.

Most of us did not come here by the approved route that Human Resource offices think we should. Personally, I have a B.S. in Business Administration, an MBA, an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, where I specialized in Applied Statistics and Psychometrics (Tests & Measurement). Along the way, I have had more courses in statistics than anyone with a masters in the subject, I have worked for thirty years programming in multiple languages – SAS, PHP and javascript mostly, with a few early years of Fortran, Basic and some defunct languages. I’ve taught courses in statistics and programming at all levels from undergraduate through doctoral students. Yet …. I do not have a “B.S. in Computer Science” or whatever the requirement du jour is.

Enter analyst finder.  This is the new company started by Art Tabachneck of SAS fame. If you’ve been using SAS for any length of time at all, you’ve run across his papers and if you live in Canada and drive a car you have been affected by his work. He uses SAS to set automobile insurance rates.

I checked out the site and it takes less than 15 minutes to fill out a form to be included in their data base. The really cool thing is that it asks about so many areas of expertise – what industries you have had experience, are you familiar with SAS, SQL, ANCOVA … it is a very, very long list – but you can just check off the boxes that apply  to you.

If I was actually looking for a job, I might have spent a little time filling in the “essay questions” that allow you to expand on your credentials as well.

How it works

Currently, Art is compiling a database of analysts. Once this is of reasonable size, employers will be able, for a very modest fee  – around $300 – to submit position descriptions. Analysts who match those descriptions will be contacted and asked if they are interested. The 20 names with the closest match who have expressed interest will be sent to the employer with contact information.

As an employer, it sounds like a great service. If I’m ever in the market for a “real job”, as an employee, it’s the first place I would hit up.

So … go check it out. It’s totally free to analysts, which is very broadly defined. If you’re interested, download the form, fill it out and send it back.

It’s a more scientific method for running around the city walking through doors hoping you run into someone who offers you a job.

Speaking of which, I need to be walking in the door of my office in less than 8 hours, so I guess I’ll call it a night.


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  1. New to SAS, mid career woman who wants to learn all I can to use SAS to help change my community. What advice do you have for someone who has a humanities history but has fallen head over high heels in love with SAS and its capabilities? I did not do well on my Base SAS certification but I will get back on the horse soon.
    wanting to kick a little SAS,

  2. When I was fairly new to SAS, the SAS-L mailing list was a good resource. I just got it in digest form and read it every day. There are lots of free resources out there. Search youtube, livebinders.com, the SAS website.

    Check sascommunity.org

    Also, many cities have local SAS users groups with meetings that are free or very inexpensive.

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