The world’s fastest growing job is that of the data scientist. Many believe the career is out of reach without a PhD. While many job requirements list a PhD as preferred it’s not a necessity. The good news for database professionals is that we can leverage our skills and experience to enter the machine learning space without the advanced education requirements. There’s a learning curve but it doesn’t require a master’s or PhD.

In the real-world companies need data scientists who specialize in applied machine learning. Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that provides computers with the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. Applied machine learning is using existing algorithms to build predictive models at the expense of understanding how the under lying algorithms are written.

In this session I’m going to discuss the move from the DBA role to that of the Machine Learning Engineer. We will learn about applied machine learning. In addition to discussing machine learning we will build a predictive model in Python and Azure Machine Learning Studio. We are about to witness an explosion in applied machine learning and I’m going to show what you’ll need to do to get started.


Mike West, Database Consultant

Mike West brings over 23 years of IT experience, including expertise in network administration and SQL Server. Prior to becoming a database consultant, Mike worked as a senior level SQL resource for Fortune 500 as well as several small to mid-size companies. Some include: Georgia Pacific, SunTrust, Reed Construction Data, Building Systems Design, NetCertainty, The Home Shopping Network, SwingVote, Atlanta Gas and Light and Northrup Grumman. Mike’s technical expertise for the last 20 years has centered on databases. For the last 18 years Mike’s sole focus has been on SQL Server. Mike is a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE) Born in Ohio, raised and educated in Pennsylvania, he currently resides in Atlanta.