Catherine Mulbrandon took Ben Fry’s 7 steps of data the Data Scientest steps (from his PhD dissertation (page 30 etc), dated 1997 and reiterated in his Visualizing Data book, as he describes on his website) and graphed her own ability levels in each area.
Clever use of the original ideas, along with some additional “Testing” inserts of her own. In fact, as a programmer, I would argue for testing between each of these 7 steps. I wouldn’t dare use data (from step 1) without validating it, nor move to step 3 without ensuring that step 2 hadn’t trashed the data. Indeed, each step assumes a solid foundation from the earlier steps, though, as Mr. Fry mentions, the steps are largely iterative, not linear. True, thankfully.
[Thanks to DataVisualization.ch for the link.]