What Is A Data Science Portfolio Scratch Sheet?

data later career advice portfolios Feb 26, 2023
Data Scientist updating her portfolio

You are filling multiples roles on multiple data science projects and doing portfolio-worthy work daily and more than likely you will forget it before you are ready to search for a new position. Even if you are not preparing for a new data science career search do yourself a favor and keep a document that has all your accomplishments, contributions, titles, and processes listed.

What is a Data Science portfolio scratch sheet?

Your scratch sheet does not have to be anything that is well formatted, more than likely you are going to be the only person to see it. Basically, it will be a word doc or google drive document that acts as a dumping place for your information. You will use it to jog your memory when the times comes, and you are looking for a new position.

What to put on your data science portfolio scratch sheet?

I believe that organizing the scratch sheet by year then month is the most efficient way to input your information. I recommend including the value of the project, your role, any unique contributions your brought to the team, as well as any special accolades you were given.  Examples of accolades could be any positive performance reviews or employee recognition awards. If applicable I would include any struggle the team had to overcome and how you specifically participated in overcoming that struggle. Again, this will be messy just add what you can and outline if that is easier.  

Why should I keep a data science scratch sheet if I am not looking for a new job?

Change happens quickly and you do not want to be caught off guard if something changes with your current role. Do not wait until you need your portfolio to update it. Ensure that you are getting credit for all the hard work you are doing. Having a robust and well documented portfolio could be what will set you apart from other applicants.

When we are forced to find a new job, the situation can shake our confidence. We begin to second guess our value as an employee and doubt our capabilities. Those emotions that are attached to leaving your current position can distort your memory of all of the great work you really did. Which is why having a portfolio scratch sheet is so important. You will not have to remember everything you actually accomplished because it will already be documented.

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