Data Demystified - Who Am I and Why Am I Making These Videos
Hi, I’m Jeff Galak and in this video I want to tell you why I started Data Demystified. There are so many amazing YouTube channels out there that talk about math, statistics, analytics, and all sorts of other topics related to data. They fill a really important need in educating everyone about these critical concepts. But one thing that I see as lacking is the teaching of data INTUITION. What I mean by that is a way of thinking. A way of knowing how to think about concepts related to data, and not just how to do data analysis of some form or another. That’s what I hope to share with you on Data Demystified, a way to intuitively think about data.
So why do I think it’s so important to talk about data intuition?
Well, I’ve been a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for over a decade and in my courses I’ve taught some form of statistics, data science, data analytics, or whatever else you want to call it. I’ve had the absolute privilege of teaching some of the smartest undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students in the world.
Over this past decade, my philosophy of teaching these concepts surrounding anything having to do with data has evolved considerably. I started in the pretty standard way of teaching formulas and methods and hoping that my students would be able to apply what they learned to their course work and, ultimately, to their lives and careers. Well, that approach was a complete failure. Students would learn the concepts, but then have a difficult time applying them to anything other than the specific course assignments I gave them. And so, with my tail between my legs, I made a big change. I still teach the core concepts of data analysis and interpretation, but the emphasis now is on changing the way people think. I don’t want to just force feed jargon and formulas like many statistical and data instructors do. Instead, I want my students, which now include you!, to understand, intuitively, how to think about the modern world which is riddled with data.
The way I do that is by taking as much jargon and complexity out of the critical concepts in data understanding and instead focus on rich examples that should be easy to follow for just about everyone. In some ways, I trick you into understanding a complex topic by first having you understand simple topics and then show you how those simple concepts are really just the same thing as the complex ones.
And to make that interesting for YOU, I try to use exciting examples of data in the world that are happening in the moment. I then try to show how to understand something really important and timely by both simplifying it as much as possible, but also by highlighting some critical nuances that you need to know to get a rich and deep intuitive understanding. It’s that intuition that hopefully changes the way you see the world.
Most important for me is to be able to share the way I see the world of data: not as some series of formulas to memorize, but as a way of thinking. When you can see data and statistical concepts all around you and have a truly rich understanding of what is going on, you can participate in this modern world of data we live in. For that, you don’t need formulas, you need intuition.
Finally, one of my main goals is to make videos that YOU, my viewers want to watch. So please take the time to either comment in a video of mine with suggestions for new topics to cover, or reach out to me directly. I want to build a community here of people who want to live in our world of data with a rich and intuitive understanding of it... and that community starts with you.
As always, thank you all for watching these videos and see you in the next one.