Big data has become a household term as of late, and tech companies have access to heaps of information about everything from their respective industries to their customers. While gaining access to data seems like the end game, what’s even more important than data itself is what we do with it, enter data science. Bahija Humphrey is the CEO of Data Science Alliance, a non-profit startup that was launched in early 2020. The organization is committed to advancing San Diego as a leader in data science
Tune in as Neal Bloom chats with Bahija Humphrey about her journey from economics student to data evangelist.
3:06 Bahija takes us through her journey discovering her passion for data science. She was born in Afghanistan, and soon after, her family immigrated to Vancouver. They moved to San Diego when Bahija was in middle school. She then attended UC Berkeley, where she studied economics. After graduating, Bahija moved to New York and worked at a tech company. After years of moving around, she finally settled in San Diego where she landed an accounting position at the Downtown San Diego Partnership, and later went on to work at the City of San Diego. Most recently, Bahija became the CEO of Data Science Alliance.
9:01 It was Bahija’s mentor from the Downtown SD Partnership, Kris Michell, who was able to recruit her to a role at the City. Working at the City of San Diego, Bahija was able to introduce and implement data-informed decision making to solve issues like homelessness. In this role, she was able to realize the importance of data collection and analysis in problem solving. As the organization’s needs shifted, Bahija transitioned into a new role as director of the Performance and Analytics Department (PANDA). The team was tasked with introducing data-informed decision making to the government, challenging the status quo to incite a cultural change, and building accountability into government.
20:26 Through researching cities across the nation, Bahija realized no single city had aced the full utilization of data science in their operations. San Diego is up there in the rankings and has the potential to take the lead in some areas.
27:24 About a year ago, Bahija was asked to attend a workshop for select data-minded individuals. The workshop opened Bahija’s eyes to the robust data community in San Diego. Soon after, she was recruited to lead Data Science Alliance with the vision to position San Diego as a data science powerhouse within the global community. There is a strong sentiment across Data Science Alliance’s diverse and talented board in retaining data science talent within San Diego, and developing the top data science region.
40:38 Those who want to get involved with Data Science Alliance can become a member and are welcome to volunteer their expertise.
Bahija’s favorite local tacos:
Connect with Bahija:
Keep up with Data Science Alliance:
Thanks to our partners at Cox Business for their support in enabling us to grow the San Diego ecosystem.