What is Data Science?
Data Science is a blend of scientific methods, process, algorithms and systems to extract knowledge and insights from data in various forms to solve analytically complex problems. Data science is the ultimate way to elicit business values from relevant data and statistics.
It is almost as similar as data mining which at an intricate and in-depth level showcase substantive detail about a particular activity. It helps business executives make radical decisions on the basis of consumer reactions, history, preferences and future prospects in a particular industry/market.
The most common example of data science is:
Netflix which uses data trends about movies, genres and the demographics in how they are viewed counting in factors such as age, gender and preferences to develop new scripts and produce new shows for consumers.
The target audience is identified on the basis of the aforementioned parameters and thus the people are catered with relevant upcoming shows. This renders the business leaders to invest in selective scripts that have a promising return on investment ratio and are viable ideas which the people would easily consume.
How Do Data Scientists/ Analysts work?
It all begins with data analysis and research about the market, data scientists draw significant inferences from market trends using analytical skills to form ideas which help not only in making decisions but also creating products.
It helps companies to propel in a direction that would best suit their business, decreasing the chances of failure of a product/service even in the long-run.
Risk analysis is a major part of data study which requires immense analytical intelligence, there are business models in place already which have a set pattern and KPI’s to measure risk.
Quantitative techniques such as inferential models, segmentation analysis, real-time analytics, synthetic control experiments, etc are applied to the raw information drawn from the data and used to create business strategies. So basically, it is an amalgam of analytic, technical, quantitative and business skills.
Common myth: Only those who have a degree in science, mathematics of PhD can become data scientists.
A graduation in the field can always be an add-on but can never be the sole reason for becoming a data scientist as it requires more than just bookish-theoretical knowledge, it needs hands-on real-life problem-solving abilities as the entire production and marketing forces run on whatever information data scientists generate.
Skills required for a Career in Data Science
If you are good at mathematics, problem-solving complex problems using analytics and quantitative skills and have a business strategic mindset, you can give a shot to data science!
One also needs to have a strong technical background to have knowledge about programming languages such as Python, C Sharp and other data related studies like Hadoop, machine learning, etc in order to have a career in data science.
Soft skills like strong communication, good listening capabilities, problem-solving and teamwork are a must. The big heads of the industries are using the information from data scientists and analysts to create strong business values in their curriculum and introduce new ways of tackling issues with sales/traction/ROIs.
Career in Data Science
Data science is an upcoming and hot subject which has grown tremendously over the last decade, it promises good salaries to individuals and motivates them to learn new skills that are applicable to the real world.
It is an extremely good career option to pursue in today’s world. Not only is it booming in the industry today, but it offers a bright future to people with the requisite skills as well. The demand for skilled professionals is continuously increasing and therefore more and more people are inclined towards it.
Now let’s delve in the career options for a person who holds a degree in data science or have the needed skills to perform well in this field:
Business Intelligence analyst
A BI studies data to give companies an outlook on their strengths, weaknesses, position as compared to their competitors in the industry using market trends and business values. New KPIs can be introduced, and they can be made to work in line with the existing ones to result in greater business models.
Data scientists work extensively and in-depth with data information by creating possible business cases, hypothesis and assumptions on the basis of market trends, previous sales and profits to build a strong foundation for business models. One business decision can create a massive impact on the working, production and sales of a company, thus data scientists take in all possible scenarios and come up with a comprehensive solution that entails future prospects of it and helps the leaders in making better decisions.
Data Mining Engineer
A data mining engineer creates algorithms and techniques for businesses which can be used in future time as well to decipher huge chunks of data into much simpler block forms to make the workflow simpler and easier. It is a well-paying and a highly reputed job which requires intense research models and even pilot programs which could be tested and tried in-house to understand whether or not they are feasible and suit the business end-goals.
They work with System engineers, designers, users and developers to create blueprints that data management systems use to centralize, maintain and protect data sources. This job is inclined towards the technical aspects of data science and thus requires a background in the same.
Best Colleges/Universities for Data Science Courses
Now that you know the popular careers in data science, here is a list of the best colleges/universities you could pursue a degree from for data science:
- Columbia University
- NYU Center for Data Science
- Carneige Mellon University
- Northwestern University
- North Carolina State University
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Michigan State University
Data science is an off-beat and completely unique branch as compared to the other monotonous subjects that have been labelled as the “best”, for example, engineering, medical sciences, education and banking.
Practical knowledge always wins in real-life!
Data science is one such field that could promise you an exciting, learning and knowledgeable career throughout your life. So, before you head out of your school or even graduation, do consider data science as one of the options.