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Passionately curious about Data, Databases and Systems Complexity. Data is ubiquitous, the database universe is dichotomous (structured and unstructured), expanding and complex. Find my Database Research at SQLToolkit.co.uk

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing" Einstein



Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Multi Facets of a Data Scientist

The Data Scientist role is an interesting evolution in the BI and Data Mining filed.  This role is the new name for a quant and an e-branding of statistical literacy as "data science". There are a few interesting quotes I have seen in the last few weeks defining data scientists which I thought were worth sharing.

•    Defines a Data Scientist as a person with mathematical and statistical skills, an investigative mind, an understanding of computer languages like C++ and Java and ability to write code. http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomgroenfeldt/2012/01/17/big-data-needs-data-scientists-or-quants-or-excel-jockeys/
•    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. http://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/infosphere/data-scientist
•    A data scientist includes not only crunching numbers, but also visualizing the results. http://www.technologyreview.com/view/425561/big-data-means-business-needs-mathematicians/
•    The data scientists look for patterns as branches and tributaries join and pull away from the “river.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/danwoods/2012/07/23/what-is-a-data-scientist-tom-wheeler-of-clickfox/2/
•    A new class of engineer, the "data scientist," whose job it is to perform the sophisticated mathematical gymnastics required to extract actionable information from this mass of numbers. http://www.technologyreview.com/view/425561/big-data-means-business-needs-mathematicians/

An article in computing http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/analysis/2201583/computing-research-the-power-of-data-science explained the difference between the BI specialist and Data Scientist.

“ BI specialists understand data and analytics, their focus tends to be on the technical aspects such as implementing the software and controlling how data is stored within the system….. A data scientist is generally less concerned with the technical nuts and bolts and more interested in the analytical side, revealing the messages that lie hidden in the data and uncovering insights that can deliver immediate competitive advantage”

Data Scientists have good mathematical and communication skills, who will be analytic innovators through their ability to gain insight from big data. A recent study from EMC shared further insight on this new field http://practicalanalytics.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/datascientistinfographic.jpg