About Data Scientists
As Big Data has started to make waves we are now also witnessing a new job title data scientist.
For every Big Data problem, the solution often rests on the shoulders of a data scientist. The role of the data scientist is similar in responsibility to the Wall Street “quants” of the 80s and 90s – now, these data experienced are tasked with the management of databases previously thought too hard to handle, and too unstructured to derive any value.
The Sexist job of the 21st century!
Thomas Davenport and D.J. Patil talked about the data scientist in their October 2012 Harvard Business Review article: Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century. Job trends data from Indeed.com confirms the rise in popularity for the position, showing that the number of job postings for data scientist positions increased by 15,000% between the summers of 2011 and 2012.
Tips for aspiring Data Scientists
While the demand for Data Scientists is indeed increasing, one needs to be well prepared and show enough passion to be able to work for some of the smartest companies in the world. Here are some quick tips for aspiring data scientists.
– A successful data scientist can come from a number of different disciplines: biostatistics, econometrics, engineering, computer science, physics, applied mathematics, statistics, machine learning, and other interrelated disciplines. Experience applying the scientific method to many disciplines and areas of research will provide fruitful in the field of data science. And as important as academics are during school, it’s just as important to stay up-to-date with current research trends and discoveries within academia, even after graduation, for instance by subscribing to academic journals.
– Krishna Gopinathan, founder of Global Analytics Holdings, recently recounted to me how he has built some of his most exceptional data scientist teams. The secret, in his opinion, was to build teams around data scientists that ask the most questions about:
- How the business works
- How it collects its data
- How it intends to use this data
- What it hopes to achieve from these analyses.
These questions were important to Gopinathan because data scientists will often unearth information that can “reshape an entire company.” Obtaining a better understanding of the business’ underpinnings not only directs the data scientist’s research, but helps them present the findings and communicate with the less-analytical executives within the organisation.
Who are looking for you ?
Luckily, the answer is: everyone and anyone is looking for a data scientist.
This role is in high-demand within some of the most attractive fields and industries, including government agencies, high technology companies, and consulting & market research firms.
Government Agencies is looking for a data scientist to work directly with the Chief Data Officer and help the establish the bureau’s direction while leading a team of other scientists.
Technology Companies is hiring a data scientist to help drive the company’s strategy as it analyzes data from its 70 million customers worldwide.
Consulting & Research Firms is looking for a data scientist to help manage its unstructured database, to help identify new insights for its clients.
Scientific Organisations are looking for an Associate Director for Data Science to help deal with the huge amouts of biomedical data they generate.
In conclusion, no matter which field you pick, the good news in this: data science is in its infancy, and its outlook seems golden as our lives and data become further entrenched.