An often-quoted promise of big data and data science used to be: invest in databases and algorithms to process data and you will gain new insights, even reducing the need for subject matter experts. The seduction of a life of leisure seemed within our grasp!

While this is commendable in its eagerness to encourage better exploitation of data, the reality is very different – as explained by David Hand of Imperial College London and senior technical manager Malcolm Moore. In addition, JMP senior systems engineer Emmanuel Romeu provides a live demo.

Effective data science needs:

  • Communication and teamwork
  • Clarity about what you want to know
  • A firm grasp of the data
  • Understanding of the quality of the data
  • The ability to extract information from data

Much of this is beyond the current capabilities of databases and algorithms. As such, subject matter knowledge is needed at all stages of extracting helpful knowledge from data.

Put another way, data science and big data need subject matter experts to succeed. Companies get the most value from data by enabling experts to apply statistical and data science methods, resulting in better decision making with increased certainty.

David Hand is senior research investigator and emeritus professor of mathematics at Imperial College London

Speaker: David Hand, senior research investigator and emeritus professor of mathematics, Imperial College London

David Hand, PhD, is a fellow of the British Academy and a recipient of the Guy Medal of the Royal Statistical Society. He has served two terms as president of the Royal Statistical Society and is also the author of The Improbability Principle and Dark Data. Hand was made OBE for services to research and innovation in 2013.


Portrait of Emmanuel Romeu, senior systems engineer for JMP

Speaker: Emmanuel Romeu, senior systems engineer, JMP

Emmanuel Romeu is senior systems engineer for JMP, where he supports sales and customer development in France. Prior to joining JMP, Romeu worked for more than 15 years as R&D project manager for Beckman Coulter following a role as industrial development manager at Immunotech.


Malcolm Moore JMP Senior technical manager

Speaker: Malcolm Moore, senior technical manager, JMP

Malcolm Moore, PhD, is senior technical manager for JMP in Europe. An expert in design of experiments, Moore worked at Light Pharma, BBN and Astra Zeneca and lectured in medical statistics at Newcastle University prior to joining JMP.

JMP company logo with white space

JMP has been a part of SAS since the first version of JMP statistical discovery software was launched in 1989, bringing interactive data visualisation and analysis to the desktop. SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions, SAS helps customers at more than 60,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.