I’m czep, also known as Scott Czepiel, and this is my blog.
This is a blog about work, data, and working with data.
I think of analytics as equal parts science, engineering, and art. I appreciate all aspects of data analysis, from business scoping to executive presentations, from raw data collection, database modeling and design, data systems engineering, statistical programming, exploratory analysis, to reporting dashboards and visualizations. I spend a lot of time with the SQL-oriented RDBMS ecosystem (mainly these days with Vertica and PostgreSQL), but also with other extremely helpful tools of the trade such as R, Python, pig, Linux, and even good ’ole Excel. There’s a soft spot in my heart for the C programming language.
I’ve worked in a variety of industries including retail, market research, entertainment, consumer packaged goods, enterprise software, financial services, health care, and academia. All share a common theme of having lots of data and needing to make sense of it.
I was once a PhD candidate in Sociology. Technically I still am but it would be a rather improbable feat for me to pick up my dissertation research at this point. Yet, I remain a firm advocate for the social sciences. I find no better complement to my technical skills than the fascinating education and training one receives in social science. Sociology and related disciplines provide a unique and compelling foundation for working with data, a context for understanding what data means and how it is useful, while a purely technical education simply cannot supply these perspectives.
I live in San Francisco, and work in the same building as Sam Spade, the legendary detective of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon and immortalized by Humphrey Bogart. I think I have a lot in common with Spade. Our approach to our work is very similar. I’m a digital gumshoe, a detective of the distributions, sleuth of the data stream. I lurk in shadows, interrogating rogue NULL values, tailing suspect log files, searching for truth and justice in a sea of complex table joins. Ok, that’s the best I can do with this metaphor. For a more serious introduction to how I characterize the work I do, read this post.
I’m also a husband and father and these will always be my number one and two priorities. H. & O., my love, always.
My personal motto is based on pragmatic altruism: “the best way to help yourself is by helping others”.