How Airbnb Democratizes Data Science

I've become fascinated by the challenge of bridging the gap between data professionals and the rest of an organization. I've spoken to several large organizations recently who struggle with this: in each case, they have data but it simply doesn't get used. This is somewhat mind-boggling to me, but it turns out that in multi-thousand-person organizations, it's totally possible to lack the skills necessary to formulate relevant questions and then answer them with data.

Airbnb has a massive data organization (100+ people on their data science team!) but they still struggle with bridging this gap. This post is on their attempt to democratize data throughout their organization, and it's awesome:

Another one of our fundamental beliefs is that every employee should be empowered to make data informed decisions. This applies to all parts of Airbnb’s organization — from deciding whether to launch a new product feature to analyzing how to provide the best possible employee experience. Our Data Science team firmly believes that part of our goal is to empower the company to understand and work with data. In order to inform every decision with data, it wouldn’t be possible to have a data scientist in every room — we needed to scale our skillset.

Must read.

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