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Caucus of Industry Representatives Details Year

1 April 2024 511 views No Comment
Ginger Holt and Steve Sain

    The Caucus of Industry Representatives Logo, which has blue circular text stating the name of the caucus, the ASA logo, and a small graphic of a bar chart with an upward arrow.The American Statistical Association has often been referred to as the “Big Tent” for statistics and data science and has long supported the broad and varying interests of its membership. The numerous sections and interest groups are organized around specific subject areas, and the different chapters represent geographic and regional communities. Outreach groups, on the other hand, help support members with common interests. The newly formed Caucus of Industry Representatives, referred to as CIR, is one of these outreach groups.

    With significant ASA membership coming from industry, the CIR seeks to provide a forum for surfacing issues related to industry statisticians and data scientists, as well as facilitate interaction between industry leaders in much the same way as the Caucus of Academic Representatives serves the academic community. Outreach of the CIR will, for example, include collaboration with the Caucus of Academic Representatives, Government Statistics Section, and Leadership Institute.

    The caucus plans to have yearly meetings for members in conjunction with other ASA conferences, as well as a yearly workshop. The workshop topic will focus on specific member needs such as continuing education, soft skills development, forming collaborations across and within industries, and mentorship. This year’s meeting will be held at the Symposium on Data Science and Statistics in Richmond, Virginia, on June 7.

    Taken from industry leaders in statistics and data science, members will support and advance the caucus. Membership will span managers of statistics and data science teams to individual contributors to those who are the only (or one of a few) statisticians or data scientists in their organizations. Membership qualifications include the following:

    • Demonstrated leadership in one or more of the following areas:
      • People manager or functional head in a statistics or data science organization that informs company-level decision-making
      • Thought leader for a particular area, domain, or topic in data science/statistics
      • Strategist for making data science/statistics investments at an organization
      • Technical leader through mentoring, influencing, and/or growing others in the practice of data science/statistics
      • Owner of data science/statistics function in an organization
    • Some affiliation with the practice of statistics/data science in industry such as the following:
      • Company data scientist/statistician in industry, including NGOs and nonprofit organizations
      • Independent data science/statistics consultant partnering with industry
      • Research scientist in academia working on problems with industrial applications
      • National lab or research organization employee working on industrial applications
    • Assent to upholding the ASA Ethical Guidelines for Statistical Practice

    Additional considerations include the following:

    • Diversity of representation across many dimensions, including industry vertical, geography, and individual demographics
    • Alignment of individual’s statement of interest with CIR near-term charge, goals, and initiatives

    Current Leadership

    Officers—who serve a three-year term—include a chair-elect, chair, past chair, and secretary/treasurer, as well as representatives across industry sectors (manufacturing, finance, technology, health care, pharma, nonprofits, and consulting) and geography (represented by the ASA districts). If you are interested in serving in one of the vacant positions below, fill out this form.

    • Chair: Ginger Holt, Databricks
    • Chair-Elect: Steve Sain, Jupiter Intelligence
    • Secretary/Treasurer: Vacant
    • Industry Representative (Pharmaceutical and Biotech): Amarjot Kaur, Merck, and Ruixiao Lu
    • Industry Representative (Technology): Theresa Utlaut, Intel
    • Industry Representative (Health Care): Kelly Zou, Viatris
    • Industry Representative (Consulting): Chris Barker, Statistical Planning and Analysis Services
    • Industry Representative (Financial Activities): Vacant
    • Industry Representative (Manufacturing): Vacant
    • Industry Representative (Nonprofit): Vacant
    • ASA Liaison: Donna LaLonde

    The leadership team has been meeting regularly and working to formalize the membership qualifications and process, identify initiatives to invest in, and select meeting and workshop topics and material. The caucus held a webinar-style town hall early on, during which participants showed enthusiasm for the caucus. An initial survey highlighted key focus areas, including increasing collaborations and cross-disciplinary engagement, networking, and connections; learning and sharing (including improving technical skills); career development (especially career paths and internships for students); and advocacy for the profession.

    First-Year Accomplishments

    In its inaugural year, the ASA CIR accomplished several items to shape its mission and identify initiatives to invest in. These include the following:

    • Formed membership and leadership qualifications and added specificity to meetings, purpose, and goals for the caucus
    • Formed executive committee and officers
    • Some members became ASA expert sources/media ambassadors to represent the ASA in communications with journalists seeking information and insights from statisticians and data scientists
    • Accepted general members
    • Held a town hall to solicit input on most important needs of industry statisticians and data scientists, which were the following:
      • Continuing education, technical and soft skills
      • Increasing collaboration between statisticians and data scientists across industries
      • Knowledge sharing
    • Served in an advisory role for the following:
      • ASA Board’s decision about the ASA’s participation in a data science accreditation process
      • Determination of information to collect in the ASA’s survey of bachelor’s and master’s graduates of (bio)statistics departments
      • ASA External Nominations and Awards Committee on additional criteria to use for increasing recognition of statisticians and data scientists in industry
    • Organized a JSM 2024 invited panel session: “AI and ML in Business and Industry”
    • Participated in discussions for ongoing ASA activities that directly apply to ASA CIR members such as the following:
      • Soft skill role play course development
      • Cross-organizational collaboration within an industry
    • Shared knowledge and started a collaboration with ASA President Bonnie Ghosh-Dastidar about the following topics:
      • Continuing education
      • Cross-organizational collaboration
      • Marketing or outreach (building awareness of contributions of statisticians/data scientists in industry)

    If you are passionate about making the ASA an even more supportive environment for statisticians and data scientists in industry, the caucus leadership welcomes your input and participation. Questions can be emailed to caucus chair Ginger Holt.

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