A professional association’s approach is to lead the growth, sharing and implementation of expertise in any given field. For data science and analytics, such associations support the implementation of basic, applied research and technologies in the fields of decision making, management and analytics.
Professional data science associations, apart from being a body that assists in developing and distributing knowledge, aid with keeping their members informed about the newest developments and innovations. Accreditation is another important function of associations helping professionals to enhance and prove their capabilities.
Data science and analytics associations also host their meetings and conferences that concentrate on specialised technical areas or methodologies, they proffer an opportunity to network, share research, and discover the latest methods and applications at national, global, and topical conferences. In this article, we take a look at the biggest data science and analytics professional associations, which work to build a rich ecosystem of data science and analytics skills with training, collaboration, conferences and accreditation.
Association of Data Scientists (ADaSci)
Association of Data Scientists (ADaSci) is the leading global professional body of data science and machine learning professionals. Association of Data Scientists (ADaSci) serves the scientific and professional demands of data science among professionals, including scientists, students, educators, analysts, managers and consultants. ADaSci works as a focal point for data science expertise, enabling data professionals to network with each other and acquire professional goals, as well as the different clientele of the profession’s research and practice.
The biggest value point for the Association of Data Scientists is that professionals can achieve the biggest title in the data science profession – the CDS designation. The Chartered Data Scientist (CDS) – the most eminent distinction in the field of data science. This program is designed by the Association of Data Scientists (ADaSci), and holding the credential of Chartered Data Scientist proves one has a strong knowledge of advanced data science fields and in-depth, applied analytics expertise. To accomplish this distinction, a candidate data scientist requires to take the charter exam, and those who qualify the exam and satisfy certain conditions are bestowed the CDS charter.
ADaSci also organises events and workshops that deeply cater to relevant expertise and network on the state of the art innovation. Recently, ADaSci announced the rollout of its entirely virtual, online convention for computer vision practitioners worldwide. Known as Computer Vision DevCon 2020 (CVDC), it will be a two-day conference to bring computer vision professionals and technologists on its web platform to share and discuss recent developments in the field. CVDC plans to reveal those approaches and bring out the newest research and advancements in computer vision. It will be hosted virtually on 13-14 August 2020.
Data Science Africa (DSA)
Data Science Africa (DSA) is a non-profit knowledge sharing professional group whose goal is bringing together leading researchers and data science practitioners in Africa, and giving training on state of the art data science methods to students and other professionals interested in building practical skills. Since 2013, DSA has been arranging conferences, workshops and summer camps on machine learning and data science in various parts of Africa. The organisers of workshops are researchers and practitioners from academia, private and public institutions around the globe. The first DSA event took place 2015 at the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology in Nyeri, Kenya.
Data Science Africa (DSA) provides an index of researchers and practitioners in the field of Data Science in Africa, creates a set of lectures and notes resources, Links and sources of information and potential data sources, a discussion forum to discuss Data Science questions, and an online presence for data science conferences and workshops. While DSA’s focus is on expanding the African data science community, it welcomes experts from the entire global community. DSA is focussed on solutions to problems relevant to the African context, in particular stressing affordability and sustainability of resources.
The American Statistical Association (ASA)
The American Statistical Association is the world’s biggest community of statisticians. It is the second-oldest, continuously running professional association in the US and created in Boston in 1839. Its members work in corporate, government, and academia in more than 90 countries, advancing research and developing quality data and statistical work to inform public policy. The organization started publishing the Journal of the American Statistical Association (JASA) in the year 1888, and started the very first biostatistics program at The Johns Hopkins University in 1918 and a statistics lab was installed at Iowa State University in 1927. Today, ASA’s membership surpasses 19,000 professionals in academia, research, government, and business.
AMA covers more than 70 chapters, about 30 sections, 17 journals, and six yearly conferences. Chapters are arranged to represent 78 areas across the US and Canada. ASA’s goal remains to promote the quality and practice of the profession of statistics. Statisticians, data scientists, epidemiologists, and other scientists who are members of the American Statistical Association (ASA) know to abide by the professional standards. The association publishes an assortment of journals and sponsors several international conferences every year. When it comes to accreditation, the ASA provides the Accredited Professional Statistician status (PStat), to members who meet the ASA’s credentialing needs, which comprises an advanced degree in statistics or related quantitative field like analytics/data science, five years of documented experience, and evidence of professional capabilities.
The Data Science Council Of America (DASCA)
The Data Science Council of America (DASCA) is a global independent, third–party association for credentialing Big Data professionals. DASCA credentialing programs for aspiring and working big data specialists are trained on the world’s first vendor-neutral standards – the five-pronged DASCA Essential Knowledge Framework (EKF). The EKF enunciates for both big data professionals and recruiters alike, a universal and standardised model of Essential Knowledge Prerequisites, which DASCA concludes as critical for big data professionals to possess if they desire to excel consistently in their jobs and establish themselves in the league of world’s finest big data professionals. Certifications for Big Data Analysts/Engineers, and Data Scientists.
The Data Science Council of America (DASCA) has a developed platform-independent Data Science knowledge frameworks, standards, and credentials, and certifies people who are starting or working across the range of emerging Data Science professions. This includes Big Data Engineers, Big Data Analysts, and Data Scientists who are certified by DASCA. Professionals certified by DASCA also show a deep understanding of the full array of roles, functions, and responsibilities in the most pressing of Big Data problems and Data Science applications globally. DASCA gives accreditation on the most critical career choices in the Data Science space today. Based on the Big Data knowledge framework – the DASCA-EKF – DASCA certifications confirm and examine certificate–holders in over 30 profession-critical knowledge vectors.
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS)
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) is a worldwide society for practitioners in operations research (O.R.), management science, and analytics, and was established in 1995. The institute’s goal is to improve operational processes, decision-making, and management by professionals and organisations using operations research, the management sciences, analytics and other related scientific methods. INFORMS publishes 16 peer-reviewed journals, hosts different conferences and meetings, giving continuing education courses and professional certification, and arranges numerous special-interest communities that help professionals network and collaborate with colleagues from around the world.
INFORMS members are operations researchers, data scientists, analytics professionals who work for universities, companies, consulting groups, the military, the government, and health care organisations. INFORMS offers analytics certification to advance the use of analytics by establishing agreed-upon standards for the profession and promoting continued capabilities for data practitioners. INFORMS s is the major global professional certification for analytics practitioners, known as the Certified Analytics Professional (CAP). The association takes an exam which requires diligent review and application of education through CAP. It enables the applicants to conduct through preparation and take the next steps in their professional careers.
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Vishal Chawla is a senior tech journalist at Analytics India Magazine and writes about AI, data analytics, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and blockchain. Vishal also hosts AIM's video podcast called Simulated Reality- featuring tech leaders, AI experts, and innovative startups of India.