Believe it or not, the role of “data scientist” has been called the sexiest job of the 21st century.1 As data in every industry grows, the need to organize, explore, analyze, predict and summarize is insatiable. Data Science is the process of filtering the most relevant information from data using scientific techniques. Companies use these insights to drive business decisions, optimize resources and improve customer engagement.
Surprisingly, the role of data scientist did not exist just a few years ago. It evolved when people with quantitative backgrounds and PhDs in sciences started applying science to industrial data. Now there are several incubators offering training in the field of data science, as well as online courses with data science tracks.
As the field develops, it’s become clear that data scientists require a range of skill sets, starting with skills for:
In addition to these computational skills, several soft skills are required to be successful in the data domain. A critical one is listening to ideas from people who excel in different fields. Typically the science that comes from the data is an amalgamation of results derived from several people in a team. For this reason, another important quality of a data scientist is the ability to build a collaborative environment.
Clearly the skill requirements for data scientists are varied. They describe an architect, a scientist, a designer, a web developer, a programmer, a manager and a public speaker—all in one. If you want to become a data scientist, you have to ask: Does your current job align with a subset of these roles? What other skills are easiest for you to acquire in a finite time? Do you need formal training or are you good at self-learning? Answers to these questions will get you started in your journey in data science.
2America loves the eggplant emoji http://fusion.net/story/123789/america-loves-the-eggplant-emoji-and-other-lessons-from-a-new-emoji-study/
3Effect of feature selection on machine learning algorithms for more accurate predictor of surgical outcomes in Benign Pro Static Hyperplasia cases (BPH), Authors: Megherbi, D.B. Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA, USA Soper, B.
4Accenture Technology Labs Intelligent Data Munging point of view. Paul Mahler, Sanghamitra Deb and Colin Puri