Vanishing Gradients

Episode 13: The Data Science Skills Gap, Economics, and Public Health

October 11th, 2022

Hugo speak with Norma Padron about data science education and continuous learning for people working in healthcare, broadly construed, along with how we can think about the democratization of data science skills more generally.

Norma is CEO of EmpiricaLab, where her team‘s mission is to bridge work and training and empower healthcare teams to focus on what they care about the most: patient care. In a word, EmpiricaLab is a platform focused on peer learning and last-mile training for healthcare teams.

As you’ll discover, Norma’s background is fascinating: with a Ph.D. in health policy and management from Yale University, a master's degree in economics from Duke University (among other things), and then working with multiple early stage digital health companies to accelerate their growth and scale, this is a wide ranging conversation about how and where learning actually occurs, particularly with respect to data science; we talk about how the worlds of economics and econometrics, including causal inference, can be used to make data science and more robust and less fragile field, and why these disciplines are essential to both public and health policy. It was really invigorating to talk about the data skills gaps that exists in organizations and how Norma’s team at Empiricalab is thinking about solving it in the health space using a 3 tiered solution of content creation, a social layer, and an information discovery platform.

All of this in service of a key question we’re facing in this field: how do you get the right data skills, tools, and workflows, in the hands of the people who need them, when the space is evolving so quickly?