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Open for comments: Data Science Code of Professional Conduct

We are seeking comments and suggestions on a proposed "Data Science Code of Professional Conduct".

Data science is an independent profession. Data scientists have a higher calling than just technical skills. We have a duty to use data science to make life, business and government better.

Six (6) key reasons why data science needs a voluntary code of conduct:

1. to establish data science as a true science and profession distinguished from data analysts, statisticians, actuaries and mathematicians - helps data scientists obtain new clients because clients reassured about contract to follow code, use scientific methods and protect clients confidential information;

2. to protect data scientists from unscrupulous clients who may desire to misuse data science;

3. to protect clients from data scientist charlatans and fraudulent data science;

4. to protect confidential information;

5. preempt imposed regulation - to have a system of self regulation good enough to persuade law-makers to avoid regulating data science;

6. to militate against data science leading to dystopia.

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Please add comments in the reply section or email comments, suggestions and corrections to: [email protected]

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Comment by Jeffrey Ng on March 9, 2013 at 8:36am

if I may, I'd like to borrow the skeleton from CFA institute(see below). I think your document covers most of the essential area. Maybe:

i.) a bit more on Rule 7: Duties to the clients

ii.) perhaps cover more about the process/documentation of works.

ii) duties to the employers

I like the way you define the terms at the beginning. If I understand correctly, it's very much cover the professional conduct of data/ information management. However, I wish that it can also include more about the output: results and findings of the analytics.

Terms like data scientist or analytics, I am flexible. There are merits from each phase: the former has a stronger intellectual flavor whereas the later has a stronger emphasis on value.

For your reference: adopted from CFA institute code of conduct

1. Professionalism: knowledge of the law, misrepresentation and misconduct

2. Data Disciplines: avoid manipulation of data result, confidentality, ensure quality of data, not to manually erase/edit the data inputted

3. Duty to the Clients: suitability of the methodology and result to the end users

4. Duty to the Employers: not stealing of proprietary models

5. Analytics work: based on data and business knowledge, properly documented works and clear procedures for audit/validation

6. Conflict of interest: disclosure of conflict of interest->conclusion of the analytics result cannot be bias towards a payee but always loyal to the facts

7. Responsibilities of Analytics professional under the code of conduct: not to abuse or mis-quote the membership.

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