Hilary Mason’s evolution and impact in data science | #WomenInTech

Hilary Mason

Over the years, Hilary Mason, founder of Fast Forward Labs, visited theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, to share her thoughts on data and how it will impact the enterprise. The segments below provide a glimpse into the mind of a true data scientist.

Using data science every day

Back in 2013, Mason spoke with John Furrier and Dave Vellante, cohosts of theCUBE, during BigDataNYC to explain how she uses data science every day.

My definition of data science … I’ve actually added something to that over the last four years. The communication ability and domain knowledge. So now it’s really about math and the way we build these models. It’s about code and engineering, and actually someone hands you a messy data set and you can get something meaningful out of it and you can put your answers back into it. And the last piece is really the ability to understand a business problem, go away and do an analysis with some data and come back and explain the solution to whoever has that problem in a way they can understand and make a good decision without having been involved in that whole analysis process.”

New discoveries in machine learning

During The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Technology event in October 2015, Mason joined host Jeff Frick on theCUBE to talk about her new company and new possibilities in machine learning.

“What we do at Fast Forward Labs is look for technologies around data and machine learning that are emerging that might open up new possibilities for new product new features or new business opportunities that are not really understood or commoditized … clients can understand how it works, who’s doing it, what’s in the market and really figure out how to plan their product and business roadmaps around these machine-learning technologies.”

Machine learning is not magic. It is fairly simple mathematics deployed on data at scale, and we act like it’s something that is inscrutable like it’s a black box no one can understand. But we exist to say that’s not true you can understand it.”

Crafting new algorithms

Jeff Frick stopped by Fast Forward Labs in New York City for a segment called theCUBE on the Ground at the end of 2015 to catch up with Mason to see what’s new in Big Data.

The profession of data science is strong and we will really see it shine where we have people building data-oriented product where people are actually crafting new algorithms to build capabilities into products that just were not possible without the data and the algorithms. And I mean things like recommendation systems, filters, a lot of personalization — there’s really a lot of cool stuff happening.”

Photo by SiliconANGLE