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US White House ‘Sexy’ Data Scientist DJ Patil takes on big data

DJ Patil is the first Chief Data Scientist to be named by the United States White House. He was assigned to the post in February of this year. Since then, he has introduced new policies and practices to utilize government data for innovation and growth of the nation.

It comes to no surprise that President Barack Obama assigned DJ Patil to the post as he has been referred to as the ‘Big Data’ president by the Washington Post. Since 2009, the Obama administration has made over 138,000 data sets available to the public to spur innovation. The White House is hoping to capitalize on opportunities posed by data to maximize investment return.

It was DJ Patil himself who coined the term “Data Scientist”, while he was working at LinkedIn in 2008. He later described the term as the ‘sexiest’ job of the 21st century. This role is typically responsible for scouring, analysing, and spotting patterns in data sets.  His experience in both public and private sectors was highlighted by the White House in their announcement of his role.

Over the course of the past few months, DJ Patil honed in on one particular topic which will make waves in the healthcare field. That is, Precision Medicine. Precision Medicine is patient-powered data which aims to result in more accurate healthcare decisions.

The White House announced the launch of the Precision Medicine Initiative early this year with its mission being, “To enable a new era of medicine through research, technology, and policies that empower patients, researchers, and providers to work together toward development of individualized treatments.”  

Having DJ Patil as the Chief Data Scientist will help the White House embrace data to create solutions for the citizens of the US. With a recently announced Smart Cities initiative, open government data may be wrangled to create intelligent apps and smarter cities. 

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