Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

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Topic Author
RJC
Posts: 564
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:40 pm

Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by RJC » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:52 am

Dear Friends,

I'm currently a pharmacist in a large gov't agency looking to move towards a data scientist/analyst role. My data experience is somewhat limited to Excel, some basic SQL, relational databases, and Tableau. Where does one begin (formal training or online) to be able to do a better job at analyzing large data sets and perhaps creating predictive models?

I've been doing research online and some folks recommend the following:
1. Statistics and probabilities foundation
2. Fully understand SQL
3. Start learning Python and/or R
4. Be familiar with Cloud structures (AWS, Cloud, Azure)

I know there are a number of computer science/IT folks on here. Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

sergio
Posts: 530
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:52 pm

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by sergio » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:00 am

An MS in Statistics or related would be ideal. When I was getting my PhD there were several MS students from different fields (Food Science, Psychology, Geology, even Philosophy!) going back to get an MS to change careers. They all have really good jobs now. Any reputable universities near you? I believe there are now several online options available (Texas A&M for example)that were just getting started as I was finishing up ...

I don't know about pharmacy salaries, but I would imagine that you would be taking a non-trivial pay cut your first year as an entry level data analyst...

Topic Author
RJC
Posts: 564
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:40 pm

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by RJC » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:48 pm

sergio wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:00 am
An MS in Statistics or related would be ideal. When I was getting my PhD there were several MS students from different fields (Food Science, Psychology, Geology, even Philosophy!) going back to get an MS to change careers. They all have really good jobs now. Any reputable universities near you? I believe there are now several online options available (Texas A&M for example)that were just getting started as I was finishing up ...

I don't know about pharmacy salaries, but I would imagine that you would be taking a non-trivial pay cut your first year as an entry level data analyst...
Thanks for your response.

My thinking is that the data analytic skills would complement my current pharmacist role as we are all moving toward a big data environment here at the agency. I will look into statistics-related courses.

Topic Author
RJC
Posts: 564
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:40 pm

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by RJC » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:45 pm

Anyone try the free courses at Coursera or MIT?

rxjayhawk
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Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:20 pm

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by rxjayhawk » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:41 pm

Do you work for the VA

mrmass
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:35 pm

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by mrmass » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:49 pm

RJC wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:45 pm
Anyone try the free courses at Coursera or MIT?
Try EdX They have some great free classes in analytics and much more. Not everything is free but for me enough is.

https://www.edx.org/

stan1
Posts: 8523
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by stan1 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:23 pm

RJC wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:52 am
Dear Friends,

I'm currently a pharmacist in a large gov't agency looking to move towards a data scientist/analyst role. My data experience is somewhat limited to Excel, some basic SQL, relational databases, and Tableau. Where does one begin (formal training or online) to be able to do a better job at analyzing large data sets and perhaps creating predictive models?

I've been doing research online and some folks recommend the following:
1. Statistics and probabilities foundation
2. Fully understand SQL
3. Start learning Python and/or R
4. Be familiar with Cloud structures (AWS, Cloud, Azure)

I know there are a number of computer science/IT folks on here. Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
Since it sounds like you would be keeping your current job would your agency pay for you to get a certificate in data science or analytics (online or through a local university)?

JD2775
Posts: 534
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:47 pm

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by JD2775 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:29 pm

If you become competent at SQL you'll be in a decent position to do a lot of DA work. Throw Python on top of that and you'll have a leg up on a lot of DA's I know/work with.

Northern Flicker
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Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by Northern Flicker » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:22 pm

RJC wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:48 pm
sergio wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:00 am
An MS in Statistics or related would be ideal. When I was getting my PhD there were several MS students from different fields (Food Science, Psychology, Geology, even Philosophy!) going back to get an MS to change careers. They all have really good jobs now. Any reputable universities near you? I believe there are now several online options available (Texas A&M for example)that were just getting started as I was finishing up ...

I don't know about pharmacy salaries, but I would imagine that you would be taking a non-trivial pay cut your first year as an entry level data analyst...
Thanks for your response.

My thinking is that the data analytic skills would complement my current pharmacist role as we are all moving toward a big data environment here at the agency. I will look into statistics-related courses.
Experimental design is the most fundamental and important thing a data scientist can learn. I don’t know how many choose to do so.

CppCoder
Posts: 917
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Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by CppCoder » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:36 pm

I know this area fairly well (I manage a large data science group for a mega corp and have a PhD in a related area). What is it that you are specifically trying to accomplish? Are you trying to really understand the theoretical underpinnings of the field or just hack around to get some quick and dirty solutions?

Topic Author
RJC
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Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by RJC » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:41 am

rxjayhawk wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:41 pm
Do you work for the VA
HHS

Topic Author
RJC
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Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by RJC » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:41 am

mrmass wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:49 pm
RJC wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:45 pm
Anyone try the free courses at Coursera or MIT?
Try EdX They have some great free classes in analytics and much more. Not everything is free but for me enough is.

https://www.edx.org/
I will look into this. Thank you.

Sourc3
Posts: 118
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:45 pm

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by Sourc3 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:56 am

I have managed and worked with data scientists. It is important to figure out what you want to do first.

If you want to do mostly descriptive analytics knowing good sql and basic statistics, and a visualization library of your choice will suffice. Most problems require this level of insight to decide on. If you are going to work on data that is not coming from a structured database, you may want to learn Python or R to do some data wrangling (my vote goes to Python but I am biased).

If you want to get into forecasting and modeling to help predict things, you need to understand a bit more theory first and also learn some more specialized libraries you can find in R or Python. You also may need to learn a basic set of cloud based tools so you can train your models fast. Just to give you an idea on some really large datasets training the model on a single GPU can take days locally vs hours in the cloud with either more powerful machines or a parallelized approach.

My suggestion would be to first get really good at descriptive analytics and then gradually build on top of it.

SQL nowadays is very powerful and you can very far. Take a look at a more practical course on udemy or Coursera and most importantly start exercising in your own field. You probably already have access to public datasets.

cherijoh
Posts: 6590
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Location: Charlotte NC

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by cherijoh » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:30 am

RJC wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:52 am
Dear Friends,

I'm currently a pharmacist in a large gov't agency looking to move towards a data scientist/analyst role. My data experience is somewhat limited to Excel, some basic SQL, relational databases, and Tableau. Where does one begin (formal training or online) to be able to do a better job at analyzing large data sets and perhaps creating predictive models?

I've been doing research online and some folks recommend the following:
1. Statistics and probabilities foundation
2. Fully understand SQL
3. Start learning Python and/or R
4. Be familiar with Cloud structures (AWS, Cloud, Azure)

I know there are a number of computer science/IT folks on here. Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
I would say 1 - 3 if you want a data science role. Online, I would recommend that you check out Coursera and the data scientist certificate.

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dm200
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Location: Washington DC area

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by dm200 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:36 am

RJC wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:52 am
Dear Friends,
I'm currently a pharmacist in a large gov't agency looking to move towards a data scientist/analyst role. My data experience is somewhat limited to Excel, some basic SQL, relational databases, and Tableau. Where does one begin (formal training or online) to be able to do a better job at analyzing large data sets and perhaps creating predictive models?
I've been doing research online and some folks recommend the following:
1. Statistics and probabilities foundation
2. Fully understand SQL
3. Start learning Python and/or R
4. Be familiar with Cloud structures (AWS, Cloud, Azure)
I know there are a number of computer science/IT folks on here. Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
What are your requirements for changes to your income if you make this kind of career change? In other words, at least in the short to mid term, are you willing and able to have reduced income? I am assuming that you currently are very well compensated.

Do you wish to remain a federal employee?

cherijoh
Posts: 6590
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Location: Charlotte NC

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by cherijoh » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:41 am

dm200 wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:36 am
RJC wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:52 am
Dear Friends,
I'm currently a pharmacist in a large gov't agency looking to move towards a data scientist/analyst role. My data experience is somewhat limited to Excel, some basic SQL, relational databases, and Tableau. Where does one begin (formal training or online) to be able to do a better job at analyzing large data sets and perhaps creating predictive models?
I've been doing research online and some folks recommend the following:
1. Statistics and probabilities foundation
2. Fully understand SQL
3. Start learning Python and/or R
4. Be familiar with Cloud structures (AWS, Cloud, Azure)
I know there are a number of computer science/IT folks on here. Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
What are your requirements for changes to your income if you make this kind of career change? In other words, at least in the short to mid term, are you willing and able to have reduced income? I am assuming that you currently are very well compensated.

Do you wish to remain a federal employee?
OP could consider a bio-statistician MS program. I think they are better compensated than a typical data analyst.

Topic Author
RJC
Posts: 564
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:40 pm

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by RJC » Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:23 pm

stan1 wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:23 pm
RJC wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:52 am
Dear Friends,

I'm currently a pharmacist in a large gov't agency looking to move towards a data scientist/analyst role. My data experience is somewhat limited to Excel, some basic SQL, relational databases, and Tableau. Where does one begin (formal training or online) to be able to do a better job at analyzing large data sets and perhaps creating predictive models?

I've been doing research online and some folks recommend the following:
1. Statistics and probabilities foundation
2. Fully understand SQL
3. Start learning Python and/or R
4. Be familiar with Cloud structures (AWS, Cloud, Azure)

I know there are a number of computer science/IT folks on here. Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
Since it sounds like you would be keeping your current job would your agency pay for you to get a certificate in data science or analytics (online or through a local university)?
Yes, I think I would be able to do that; however, I want to make sure it's a good course. I'm not quite sure where to begin.

Topic Author
RJC
Posts: 564
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:40 pm

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by RJC » Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:26 pm

Northern Flicker wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:22 pm
RJC wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:48 pm
sergio wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:00 am
An MS in Statistics or related would be ideal. When I was getting my PhD there were several MS students from different fields (Food Science, Psychology, Geology, even Philosophy!) going back to get an MS to change careers. They all have really good jobs now. Any reputable universities near you? I believe there are now several online options available (Texas A&M for example)that were just getting started as I was finishing up ...

I don't know about pharmacy salaries, but I would imagine that you would be taking a non-trivial pay cut your first year as an entry level data analyst...
Thanks for your response.

My thinking is that the data analytic skills would complement my current pharmacist role as we are all moving toward a big data environment here at the agency. I will look into statistics-related courses.
Experimental design is the most fundamental and important thing a data scientist can learn. I don’t know how many choose to do so.
Is that a course? I will look into that.

Topic Author
RJC
Posts: 564
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:40 pm

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by RJC » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:09 pm

CppCoder wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:36 pm
I know this area fairly well (I manage a large data science group for a mega corp and have a PhD in a related area). What is it that you are specifically trying to accomplish? Are you trying to really understand the theoretical underpinnings of the field or just hack around to get some quick and dirty solutions?
Probably the latter. I'd like to have a better, more systematic approach to analyzing large data sets and to be able to communicate that to senior management. Also, once we have all the signals, to be able to possibly make some predictions on future events.

CppCoder
Posts: 917
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:16 pm

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by CppCoder » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:35 pm

RJC wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:09 pm
CppCoder wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:36 pm
I know this area fairly well (I manage a large data science group for a mega corp and have a PhD in a related area). What is it that you are specifically trying to accomplish? Are you trying to really understand the theoretical underpinnings of the field or just hack around to get some quick and dirty solutions?
Probably the latter. I'd like to have a better, more systematic approach to analyzing large data sets and to be able to communicate that to senior management. Also, once we have all the signals, to be able to possibly make some predictions on future events.
I'd recommend a reasonable grounding in statistics. The worst mistake I see people make is applying machine learning to problems and making statistically invalid inferences, "predicting" things the data cannot predict. Then, you'll discover that 90% of most people's machine learning problems can be solved by linear regression :oops:. If you're already there, I'd just pick an edX course (or similar) on data science/analytics/machine learning/AI (whatever other buzz word leads you to a sensible syllabus that meets your needs) at random, as long as the course is free. You'll know in the first hour if the one you selected is garbage.

Python, R, and associated libraries are just tools. Pick the one that exists in your ecosystem and learn that one after you know what you're doing. Tableau is useful for analyzing and presenting results.

Topic Author
RJC
Posts: 564
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Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by RJC » Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:44 am

Sourc3 wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:56 am
I have managed and worked with data scientists. It is important to figure out what you want to do first.

If you want to do mostly descriptive analytics knowing good sql and basic statistics, and a visualization library of your choice will suffice. Most problems require this level of insight to decide on. If you are going to work on data that is not coming from a structured database, you may want to learn Python or R to do some data wrangling (my vote goes to Python but I am biased).

If you want to get into forecasting and modeling to help predict things, you need to understand a bit more theory first and also learn some more specialized libraries you can find in R or Python. You also may need to learn a basic set of cloud based tools so you can train your models fast. Just to give you an idea on some really large datasets training the model on a single GPU can take days locally vs hours in the cloud with either more powerful machines or a parallelized approach.

My suggestion would be to first get really good at descriptive analytics and then gradually build on top of it.

SQL nowadays is very powerful and you can very far. Take a look at a more practical course on udemy or Coursera and most importantly start exercising in your own field. You probably already have access to public datasets.
This is very helpful. Thank you.

Topic Author
RJC
Posts: 564
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:40 pm

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by RJC » Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:45 am

cherijoh wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:30 am
RJC wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:52 am
Dear Friends,

I'm currently a pharmacist in a large gov't agency looking to move towards a data scientist/analyst role. My data experience is somewhat limited to Excel, some basic SQL, relational databases, and Tableau. Where does one begin (formal training or online) to be able to do a better job at analyzing large data sets and perhaps creating predictive models?

I've been doing research online and some folks recommend the following:
1. Statistics and probabilities foundation
2. Fully understand SQL
3. Start learning Python and/or R
4. Be familiar with Cloud structures (AWS, Cloud, Azure)

I know there are a number of computer science/IT folks on here. Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
I would say 1 - 3 if you want a data science role. Online, I would recommend that you check out Coursera and the data scientist certificate.
Thanks for the link. I will look into this. :beer

Topic Author
RJC
Posts: 564
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:40 pm

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by RJC » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:11 pm

dm200 wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:36 am
RJC wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:52 am
Dear Friends,
I'm currently a pharmacist in a large gov't agency looking to move towards a data scientist/analyst role. My data experience is somewhat limited to Excel, some basic SQL, relational databases, and Tableau. Where does one begin (formal training or online) to be able to do a better job at analyzing large data sets and perhaps creating predictive models?
I've been doing research online and some folks recommend the following:
1. Statistics and probabilities foundation
2. Fully understand SQL
3. Start learning Python and/or R
4. Be familiar with Cloud structures (AWS, Cloud, Azure)
I know there are a number of computer science/IT folks on here. Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
What are your requirements for changes to your income if you make this kind of career change? In other words, at least in the short to mid term, are you willing and able to have reduced income? I am assuming that you currently are very well compensated.

Do you wish to remain a federal employee?
I think in my situation, it doesn't have to be a total career change. I would be able to add data analysis to my current pharmacist role since I am in a regulatory agency.

For the near term I am happy being a Fed. Long term, however, I would think it would help my resume by having these technical skills.

Topic Author
RJC
Posts: 564
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:40 pm

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by RJC » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:09 am

Sourc3 wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:56 am
I have managed and worked with data scientists. It is important to figure out what you want to do first.

If you want to do mostly descriptive analytics knowing good sql and basic statistics, and a visualization library of your choice will suffice. Most problems require this level of insight to decide on. If you are going to work on data that is not coming from a structured database, you may want to learn Python or R to do some data wrangling (my vote goes to Python but I am biased).

If you want to get into forecasting and modeling to help predict things, you need to understand a bit more theory first and also learn some more specialized libraries you can find in R or Python. You also may need to learn a basic set of cloud based tools so you can train your models fast. Just to give you an idea on some really large datasets training the model on a single GPU can take days locally vs hours in the cloud with either more powerful machines or a parallelized approach.

My suggestion would be to first get really good at descriptive analytics and then gradually build on top of it.

SQL nowadays is very powerful and you can very far. Take a look at a more practical course on udemy or Coursera and most importantly start exercising in your own field. You probably already have access to public datasets.
Thank you. This is very helpful. I think my basic analytics skills could be better and in the long run, I'll look into forecasting and modeling.

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dm200
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Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by dm200 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:02 am

Perhaps some kind of statistical analysis of drug testing.

CFM300
Posts: 1953
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Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by CFM300 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:09 am

Spend at least some time carefully studying data visualization.

Tufte's The Visual Display of Quantitative Data is essential and might be sufficient, but he has many other useful books.

Going all the way back to Tukey's Exploratory Data Analysis and Cleveland's books (Visualizing Data and The Elements of Graphing Data) would be good as well. Some of these books might be expensive, but you should be able to find them in any good research library.

Topic Author
RJC
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Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by RJC » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:22 am

CFM300 wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:09 am
Spend at least some time carefully studying data visualization.

Tufte's The Visual Display of Quantitative Data is essential and might be sufficient, but he has many other useful books.

Going all the way back to Tukey's Exploratory Data Analysis and Cleveland's books (Visualizing Data and The Elements of Graphing Data) would be good as well. Some of these books might be expensive, but you should be able to find them in any good research library.
Thank you for your recommendations. I just finished The Big Book of Dashboards: Visualizing Your Data Using Real-World Business Scenarios and was looking for more books.

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dm200
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Location: Washington DC area

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by dm200 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:27 am

dm200 wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:02 am
Perhaps some kind of statistical analysis of drug testing.
A longtime acquaintance of mine has education and experience in statistics - and his, fairly well compensated, job is having his own company (he and another similar person) that do various kinds of statistical analysis of prescription drug testing that is necessary for new drugs to be approved. He, apparently, has contacts with a lot of such drug companies - so that when their tests are completed, he takes the raw results and makes every effort to show that the drug is safe and effective.

Topic Author
RJC
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Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by RJC » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:46 am

dm200 wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:27 am
dm200 wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:02 am
Perhaps some kind of statistical analysis of drug testing.
A longtime acquaintance of mine has education and experience in statistics - and his, fairly well compensated, job is having his own company (he and another similar person) that do various kinds of statistical analysis of prescription drug testing that is necessary for new drugs to be approved. He, apparently, has contacts with a lot of such drug companies - so that when their tests are completed, he takes the raw results and makes every effort to show that the drug is safe and effective.
I'm on the post-approval side but I can see similar applications using statistical analysis.

KlangFool
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Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by KlangFool » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:49 am

RJC wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:45 pm
Anyone try the free courses at Coursera or MIT?
RJC,

I had taken this one. It is good.
https://www.coursera.org/specialization ... ta-science?

I have not tried this one.

https://www.coursera.org/professional-c ... ta-science

KlangFool

Topic Author
RJC
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Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by RJC » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:40 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:49 am
RJC wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:45 pm
Anyone try the free courses at Coursera or MIT?
RJC,

I had taken this one. It is good.
https://www.coursera.org/specialization ... ta-science?

I have not tried this one.

https://www.coursera.org/professional-c ... ta-science

KlangFool
I think I may begin with your first suggestion. Thanks KlangFool.

CFM300
Posts: 1953
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Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by CFM300 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:25 pm

RJC wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:22 am
Thank you for your recommendations. I just finished The Big Book of Dashboards: Visualizing Your Data Using Real-World Business Scenarios and was looking for more books.
I haven't seen that book, but if you're interested in dashboards in particular, Stephen Few's Information Dashboard Design is the standard text. His book on general data visualization is good as well.

I'd start with Tufte.

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JPH
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Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by JPH » Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:36 pm

RJC wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:26 pm
Northern Flicker wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:22 pm
RJC wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:48 pm
sergio wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:00 am
An MS in Statistics or related would be ideal. When I was getting my PhD there were several MS students from different fields (Food Science, Psychology, Geology, even Philosophy!) going back to get an MS to change careers. They all have really good jobs now. Any reputable universities near you? I believe there are now several online options available (Texas A&M for example)that were just getting started as I was finishing up ...

I don't know about pharmacy salaries, but I would imagine that you would be taking a non-trivial pay cut your first year as an entry level data analyst...
Thanks for your response.

My thinking is that the data analytic skills would complement my current pharmacist role as we are all moving toward a big data environment here at the agency. I will look into statistics-related courses.
Experimental design is the most fundamental and important thing a data scientist can learn. I don’t know how many choose to do so.
Is that a course? I will look into that.
Yes, experimental design is taught as a course, usually covering mostly ANOVA-type designs. However in a broader sense, the statistician has responsibility for protecting the experiments from bias. That is where your joint training might prove valuable. Bias can enter the study at any stage: design, execution, subject retention, analysis, handling of missing data, even in the writing of the results. People tend to use the term experimental design in referring to all those things.
While the moments do summersaults into eternity | Cling to their coattails and beg them to stay - Townes Van Zandt

Student2
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Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by Student2 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:24 pm

What you are describing is, essentially my profession. I am a quantitative data scientist working in pharmacoepidemiology. A pharmacist with training in epidemiology has the potential to contribute in several areas related to drug development. At one extreme is a combined PharmD + PhD in epidemiology, then, depending on your specific interests, PharmD + PhD/MSc statistics (make sure that's biostats to be more relevant -- nothing against pure stats, just not as directly relevant to Pharma), followed by PharmD + some training in stats. If you are a fed, then it probably depends on what is needed in your specific agency or department. Unless you're at FDA, probably some general basic stats training will put you ahead of the curve. If you want to move to FDA you will need to have more than that to be competitive, but experience in stats will help you regardless.

If you want to talk further, DM me and we can chat live. I've spent most of my life in academia but I've not worked in industry for the last many years so I have some insight into both. I've interacted with federal agencies in both roles.

Best of luck,
Student2

Topic Author
RJC
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Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by RJC » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:34 pm

Student2 wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:24 pm
What you are describing is, essentially my profession. I am a quantitative data scientist working in pharmacoepidemiology. A pharmacist with training in epidemiology has the potential to contribute in several areas related to drug development. At one extreme is a combined PharmD + PhD in epidemiology, then, depending on your specific interests, PharmD + PhD/MSc statistics (make sure that's biostats to be more relevant -- nothing against pure stats, just not as directly relevant to Pharma), followed by PharmD + some training in stats. If you are a fed, then it probably depends on what is needed in your specific agency or department. Unless you're at FDA, probably some general basic stats training will put you ahead of the curve. If you want to move to FDA you will need to have more than that to be competitive, but experience in stats will help you regardless.

If you want to talk further, DM me and we can chat live. I've spent most of my life in academia but I've not worked in industry for the last many years so I have some insight into both. I've interacted with federal agencies in both roles.

Best of luck,
Student2
I'm currently at the FDA but on the post-approval side. I started as a case reviewer; however, my interest in data and tech has lead me to a more analytic role. I figured I would be more impactful having both skill sets.

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leeks
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Location: new york

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by leeks » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:43 pm

RJC wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:40 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:49 am
RJC wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:45 pm
Anyone try the free courses at Coursera or MIT?
RJC,

I had taken this one. It is good.
https://www.coursera.org/specialization ... ta-science?

I have not tried this one.

https://www.coursera.org/professional-c ... ta-science

KlangFool
I think I may begin with your first suggestion. Thanks KlangFool.
I'm also doing the Coursera JHU data science one now. I tried out a few other sites including datacamp, but my favorite thing about this one is that you don't have to watch any videos (in fact the newest version of the videos for this course are just a computer reading text, which is intolerable to my ear). It might not be obvious at first but you have the option to ignore the videos entirely and just read the text of each lesson which works so much better for me.

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Hayden
Posts: 1320
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Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by Hayden » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:19 pm

I've been taking courses online, and some of them are excellent. It is now possible to obtain an MS degree in data science from a top university entirely online -- I know this because I keep receiving emails advertising the programs. Sign up with edX and Coursera. I think it is amazing the courses available online now.

Dottie57
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Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:28 pm

Northern Flicker wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:22 pm
RJC wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:48 pm
sergio wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:00 am
An MS in Statistics or related would be ideal. When I was getting my PhD there were several MS students from different fields (Food Science, Psychology, Geology, even Philosophy!) going back to get an MS to change careers. They all have really good jobs now. Any reputable universities near you? I believe there are now several online options available (Texas A&M for example)that were just getting started as I was finishing up ...

I don't know about pharmacy salaries, but I would imagine that you would be taking a non-trivial pay cut your first year as an entry level data analyst...
Thanks for your response.

My thinking is that the data analytic skills would complement my current pharmacist role as we are all moving toward a big data environment here at the agency. I will look into statistics-related courses.
Experimental design is the most fundamental and important thing a data scientist can learn. I don’t know how many choose to do so.
What type of design? Database? Transformation of data. Program? Other?

Topic Author
RJC
Posts: 564
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:40 pm

Re: Pharmacist to Data Analyst Role

Post by RJC » Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:13 am

leeks wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:43 pm
RJC wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:40 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:49 am
RJC wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:45 pm
Anyone try the free courses at Coursera or MIT?
RJC,

I had taken this one. It is good.
https://www.coursera.org/specialization ... ta-science?

I have not tried this one.

https://www.coursera.org/professional-c ... ta-science

KlangFool
I think I may begin with your first suggestion. Thanks KlangFool.
I'm also doing the Coursera JHU data science one now. I tried out a few other sites including datacamp, but my favorite thing about this one is that you don't have to watch any videos (in fact the newest version of the videos for this course are just a computer reading text, which is intolerable to my ear). It might not be obvious at first but you have the option to ignore the videos entirely and just read the text of each lesson which works so much better for me.
That is good to know. I'd rather read the text as well.

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