According to Fortune – Data Scientist is “The hot new gig in tech”. Indeed, the term Data Scientist is slowly being seen as one of the in-demand career options. With the increasing trend of firms like Facebook & Amazon depending more and more on data science to have that vital competitive edge, the value of a data scientist is fast growing.
In this 2 Part series, we’ll look into more details about this rapidly emerging trend starting with why data science is expected to be the next big thing to the initiatives firms must take to overcome the challenge of finding skilled data scientists.
So what exactly is Data Science? And how does the Data Scientist come into picture?
Data Science is essentially a combination of:-
While each of the above disciplines form unique career options in itself, a data scientist is one who can do them all – and thereby stand out from the pack. Typically in an organization, with the Statisticians, Analysts, HCI Experts etc all working on their respective tasks, there is bound to be time lost due to indefinite wait periods. So often we see key analysis missed due to lack of clarity in the communication. With data scientists coming in with all these skills, not only does it speed up the process, but the whole collaboration becomes that much more exciting with a new perspective to data interpretation.
In an article on cio.com, Brian Hopkins, Principal Analyst with Forrester Research says:
“Companies are always looking for ways to know more than their competitors. There’s this notion that if they buy some predictive analytics tools, the tools will give them insight. [In fact,] You need this specialized class of data scientist to create and run [statistical] models against data and present the results in ways people can act on.”
This takes us back to the time when Google crunched data from the employee reviews, promotions and pay histories to identify which of its employees were most likely to quit. In spite of receiving some scathing criticism, Google showed it was always one step ahead of its competitors!
There is no doubt that the success of data science in firms like Google has inspired a lot of other small and mid-sized firms to replicate the same. But there in lies the challenge of finding skilled data scientists in the market. Currently only the big guns like Google & Facebook can afford to have the few who are out there. So what do the other firms do – we’ll find out in Part 2 of this post.
Want to play with a data science toolkit?
Pete Warden – famously known for scraping 220 million Facebook profiles, recently launched his Data Science Toolkit which does quite a few cool stuff. Give it a try.