Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Nischala's Blog-o-Q : Who is a Data Scientist?

I've been reading a lot about "Data Scientists" in the recent past. Something about the name caught my attention. Since then, I have read a lot on this topic and felt it was worthwhile to dedicate a post to this subject

So what is "Data Science?"
Data science is a discipline that incorporates varying elements and builds on techniques and theories from many fields, including Math, Statistics, Data Engineering, Pattern Recognition and Learning, Advanced Computing, Visualization, Uncertainty Modeling, Data Warehousing, and high performance computing with the goal of extracting meaning from data and creating data products. [Src: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_science ]

And who is a "Data Scientist"? 
A practitioner of "Data Science" is a Data Scientist. [Src: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_science ]

What sets the data scientist apart is strong business acumen, coupled with the ability to communicate findings to both business and IT leaders in a way that can influence how an organization approaches a business challenge. Good data scientists will not just address business problems, they will pick the right problems that have the most value to the organization.

The data scientist role has been described as “part analyst, part artist.” Anjul Bhambhri, vice president of big data products at IBM, says, “A data scientist is somebody who is inquisitive, who can stare at data and spot trends. It's almost like a Renaissance individual who really wants to learn and bring change to an organization." [Src: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/infosphere/data-scientist/]

Interesting, there was an article on HBR which states that the Data Scientist is the sexiest job of the 21st Century. Well! I don't know if it is sexy; but I sure do know that it sound interesting, fun and futuristic.. So probably worth exploring?

References which you should read (if you are interested in this subject)
http://hbr.org/2012/10/data-scientist-the-sexiest-job-of-the-21st-century/ar/1
http://www.forbes.com/sites/gilpress/2012/12/01/big-data-news-of-the-week-beautiful-300000-minds/
http://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/infosphere/data-scientist/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_science
http://gigaom.com/data/why-becoming-a-data-scientist-might-be-easier-than-you-think/

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