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Blog Building Trust & The Role of Ethics in Data Storytelling | Data Stories Deep Dive Episode 6

Data Stories Deep Dive Episode 6 Recap: Lexy Kassan

During the 6th episode of our video series, Data Stories Deep Dive, we spoke with Lexy Kassan. Lexy is the founder and host of the Data Science Ethics Podcast. She came on to speak with us about the ethical and privacy implications of collecting, managing, and distributing data.

Some key insights from the live session:

  • We have not done a lot of work towards understanding the implications of algorithms on society. There is reliance on the practitioner to impose their own ethical standards. This is not something we can rely on forever so we will likely see more and more regulations about this. We will likely develop algorithms to police the other algorithms.
  • Ethics around Data Science are continually evolving. We as practitioners need to be aware of what we are doing with our algorithms and their impact on society. We need to constantly consider context and how much we are impacting the world around us.
  • There are a lot of opportunities for non-profit companies to use algorithms to try to make change in the world as they are already thinking about their impact.
  • Winning the job means putting the data science into action. What really matters is the context of the statistics and analytics, not just the data science.
  • Most of a data scientist’s time is spent understanding the problem, managing data and understanding what they can do with it- not just applying the methods that they learned in school or on the job. There is a huge gap in what you learn in school vs what the needs are of the actual job. Leave your mind an open book and then figure out on the job what you are writing in that book.
  • Ethics comes from the top down, you should always check if your ethics are at odds with your firm– look around for another. Comprising ethics because of management or leadership is not worth it.
  • A few topics with ethical implications to keep an eye on moving forward:
    • Predictive policing and facial recognition technologies
    • Federal and state privacy laws 
    • Driverless cars and the ethics of automation in general

As a reminder, our video series is bi-weekly and hosted by our VP of Marketing, Cassidy Shield. We will feature different data storytelling experts to show you how to best use your data. The mission is simple- we want to teach everyone how to be a better data storyteller.

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