Trying out a difference conference -- from neuroscience to #SSAC16

I've been more and more interested in the idea of leaving academia for industry, and when I did some research months ago I found that it was a bit of a shock -- my translatable skills from my neuroscience research background (methodology, statistics, writing, data interpretation and visualization, etc) seemed to be used in many fields (science, engineering, and tech, specifically), but none that really made me excited to work.

Sports analytics has always been something fun I've done on the side -- particularly to communicate advanced statistics through a more popular medium -- but never considered it a potential career path. In the last year, I made a lot of progress towards making my sports analytics more mainstream and reaching a wider audience. I have become less shy about promoting my analytics and I am interested to see what opportunities are out there now.

So I'm attending my first non-academia, non-neuroscience conference ever: Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. My personal interest is to see what sort of analysis techniques are currently being used in the field. I feel my strength coming from neuroscience is advanced statistics that may not be used currently for sports analytics, so I am hoping I can stack up to the stat wizs at the conference. My favorite angle of data science has always been the data research and reporting side -- not necessarily the machine learning aspects of data science. I will be interested to see how much data science is being represented at the conference, as well as data-driven reporting (journalism or otherwise). And of course, my professional goal is to start building my network. This is a completely new field to me and I have absolutely zero contacts! Hoping to walk away with a friend or two by the end of the weekend.

So I'll be live-tweeting and daily-blogging from the conference. Hoping to shine some light on what it feels like to make the move from academia to industry. Hope you enjoy my upcoming coverage.

There's a ton of ways you can follow coverage of SSAC16:
The Twitter hashtag will be the most active
My Twitter account for more of a view of the conference through my lens
This blog (of course)
This Twitter list of attendees (which will also be found at the bottom of each of my SSAC16 posts)


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