How to Develop In-House Data Science Talent (VIDEO)

 Video produced by Steve Nathans-Kelly 

Booz Allen Hamilton principal Shelly Brown provided a primer on and a rationale for cultivating existing data science talent from within an organization in this clip from her presentation at Data Summit 2019, titled “ADAPT+C: A Framework for Building a Data-Driven Organization.”

“One of the best things about working in an organization like Booz Allen is we've got a lot of smart people that are out working for clients day in and day out. Even though I'm focused more internally, I still have access to those people on a somewhat frequent basis,” said Brown.

DBTA’s next Data Summit conference will be held May 19-20, 2020, in Boston, with pre-conference workshops on Monday, May 18.

“We have an innovation group that we have stood up that is focused on data science and artificial intelligence and recently I was talking to one of the other staff there and they had a specific example of an algorithm that they had created that was completely relevant to something else I was trying to solve,” said Brown. The result, she noted, was that “We were able to bring in a small subset of teams, a specific kind of that cloud notion on the bottom and said these are really the people we want to use. We really only want to use them for a few months and then we can push them back out to client work, but we ultimately just want to use the right capabilities for specific to when we want to do something a little bit different and pull those people kind of in house and actually use them.”

According to Brown, “We started off with a bit of a matrix organization with folks out in the markets and not really anybody that was truly dedicated to the capability. It was a little of bit of a coalition of the willing, you might say in terms of making a change.” Starting this year and into the future,  she noted, “we're looking at it a little bit differently, where we are pulling people in with specific skill sets based on what the current client need is or what our need is as far as an organization and really putting those people together against those specific projects.”

Many presenters have made their slide decks available on the Data Summit 2019 website at

To access the full presentation, "A201a. ADAPT+C: A Framework for Building a Data-Driven Organization," go to