The data scientist is a relatively new key player in organizations — a new breed of analytical data experts. They are part mathematicians, part computer scientists, and they rule the world of big data. Businesses today are wrestling with volumes of unstructured information that’s a virtual gold mine, which can help boost revenue when unearthed. But they really need professionals who can dig in and find valuable business insights, sifting through the useless chaff and finding the precious nuggets of data. That is what the data scientist does; that is why they are highly sought after and well paid.
Whether it’s the thrill of problem-solving or the hefty paychecks, the perks of being a data scientist are luring many IT professionals to take this career path. If you’re one of them, this article has everything you need to know about how to be a data scientist.
Today, we’re covering the data scientist job description — what is a data scientist, what does a data scientist do, the qualifications for a data scientist, the data scientist roles and responsibilities, data scientist skills, how to be a data scientist, data scientist requirements, and the data scientist career path.
Data Scientist Job Description
A Data Scientist is a professional who collects large amounts of data using analytical, statistical, and programmable skills. It is their responsibility to use data to develop solutions tailored to meet the organisation's unique needs.
Organizations are increasingly using more and more data in their everyday operations. A data scientist interprets the raw data and extracts valuable meaning out of it. They then use this information to find patterns and develop solutions that an organization needs to grow and compete.
Wondering what exactly constitutes the job of a data scientist? Well, no points for guessing, a day of a data scientist revolves around - as the job title suggests - data and data everywhere.
The data scientist job description involves fetching information from various sources and analyzing it to get a clear understanding of how an organization performs. The scientist uses statistical and analytical methods plus AI tools to automate specific processes within the organization and develop smart solutions to business challenges. After interpreting the data, they present the results in a clear and interesting way. The objective is to help the organization analyze trends to make better decisions. Thus, a good data scientist needs to have the right combination of technical, analytical, and communication skills.
In order to understand the data scientist role, let’s first understand that the data scientist position has evolved and expanded from the data analyst job position.
Both the data analyst and data scientist organize and analyze big data within an organization. But the data scientist has the additional role of using business sense and communication skills to influence how the organization tackles business challenges.
Data scientists combine practical skills like coding and math with the ability for statistical analysis to achieve results. For instance, a data scientist working for a social networking site might analyze the types of pages users ‘Like’ and, based on that, decide what kind of advertisements users will see upon logging into their account.
Data Scientist Roles and Responsibilities: What Does a Data Scientist Do?
Data scientist roles and responsibilities include:
- Data mining or extracting usable data from valuable data sources
- Using machine learning tools to select features, create and optimize classifiers
- Carrying out preprocessing of structured and unstructured data
- Enhancing data collection procedures to include all relevant information for developing analytic systems
- Processing, cleansing, and validating the integrity of data to be used for analysis
- Analyzing large amounts of information to find patterns and solutions
- Developing prediction systems and machine learning algorithms
- Presenting results in a clear manner
- Propose solutions and strategies to tackle business challenges
- Collaborate with Business and IT teams
Data Scientist Skills
You need to master the skills required for data scientist jobs in various industries and organizations if you want to pursue a data scientist career. Let’s look at the must-have data scientist qualifications. Key skills needed to become a data scientist:
- Programming Skills – knowledge of statistical programming languages like R, Python, and database query languages like SQL, Hive, Pig is desirable. Familiarity with Scala, Java, or C++ is an added advantage.
- Statistics – Good applied statistical skills, including knowledge of statistical tests, distributions, regression, maximum likelihood estimators, etc. Proficiency in statistics is essential for data-driven companies.
- Machine Learning – good knowledge of machine learning methods like k-Nearest Neighbors, Naive Bayes, SVM, Decision Forests.
- Strong Math Skills (Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra) - understanding the fundamentals of Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra is important as they form the basis of a lot of predictive performance or algorithm optimization techniques.
- Data Wrangling – proficiency in handling imperfections in data is an important aspect of a data scientist job description.
- Experience with Data Visualization Tools like matplotlib, ggplot, d3.js., Tableau that help to visually encode data
- Excellent Communication Skills – it is incredibly important to describe findings to a technical and non-technical audience.
- Strong Software Engineering Background
- Hands-on experience with data science tools
- Problem-solving aptitude
- Analytical mind and great business sense
- Degree in Computer Science, Engineering or relevant field is preferred
- Proven Experience as Data Analyst or Data Scientist
How to Become a Data Scientist
If you are wondering how to get hired in a data scientist role, let me tell you such lucrative jobs don’t simply fall out of the sky, it takes time, effort, and knowledge.
To pursue data scientist careers, you have to devote time to learn data science, upgrade your skills, search for a job and prepare for interviews. Simplilearn’s Data Science Certification offer an excellent way to learn all the skills we discussed here. Consider these to start your career as a data scientist.
- Be Patient: you will apply for several jobs before bagging one
- Build up Data Analytics, Programming, and Business skills.
- Be prepared to answer data science interview questions about how you would behave in various work situations. Remember, recruiters, are more interested in how you solve problems and how you tackle specific situations than your technical knowledge.
- Consider earning a certificate in Data Science or Business Analytics
- Create a portfolio to showcase some projects that you have done with real data
How Much Do Data Scientists Make?
The demand and salary for data scientists tend to be higher than most other ITES jobs. Experience is one of the key factors in determining the salary range of a data science professional.
According to Glassdoor, a Data Scientist in the United States earns an annual average of USD 117,212, and the same site reports that Data Scientists in India make a yearly average of ₹1,000,000.
Data Scientist Career Path
Data Science is currently considered one of the most lucrative careers available. Companies across all major industries/sectors have data scientist requirements to help them gain valuable insights from big data. There is a sharp growth in demand for highly skilled data science professionals who can straddle the business and IT worlds.
The career path to becoming a data scientist isn’t clearly defined since this is a relatively new profession. People from different backgrounds like mathematics, statistics, computer science or economics, end up in data science.
The options for data scientist careers are quite varied. Since data science is a multidisciplinary profession, there are exposure and exit options in numerous areas. The major designations for data science professionals are:
- Data Analyst
- Data Scientist (entry-level)
- Associate data scientist
- Data Scientist (senior-level)
- Product Manager
- Lead data scientist
That was all about Data Scientist Job Description.
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Become a Data Scientist Today!
In this write-up, we covered the Data Scientist job description in detail. Irrespective of which location you are in, there is no dearth of jobs for skillful data scientists. A career in data science is a rewarding journey to embark on, especially in the finance, retail, and e-commerce sectors. Jobs are also available with Government departments, universities and research institutes, telecoms, transports, the list goes on.
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1. What does a Data Scientist do?
Data is a professional that collects large amounts of data using analytical, statistical, and programmable skills. They are responsible for using data to develop solutions tailored to meet the organization's unique needs.
2. What are the duties and responsibilities of a Data Scientist?
A Data Scientist’s roles and responsibilities include extracting data from multiple sources, using machine learning tools to organize data, process, clean, and validate the data, analyze the data for information and patterns, develop prediction systems, present the data in a clear manner, and propose solutions and strategies.
3. What makes a good Data Scientist?
A good Data Scientist comes with a myriad of skills such as programming, communication, organizational, mathematical, data analysis, problem solving, and analytical skills.
4. Who does a Data Scientist work with?
Data Scientists collaborate with the Business, and IT teams to ensure proposed solutions and strategies are implemented.
5. What are skills required for data scientist?
Data Scientist requires skills such as programming, communication, organizational, mathematical, data analysis, problem solving, and analytical skills.
6. Is data scientist a stressful job?
Data science is definitely a difficult task. The volume of the work, the deadlines, and job demands from multiple sources can make data scientists a stressful job.
7. What qualifications does a data scientist need?
An undergraduate degree is a must, but most data scientists often have a master’s or a Ph.D. in Data Science, Mathematics, or Statistics. They also take online courses to learn special skills and tools that help them make their tasks easier.
8. Are data scientists in demand?
With data becoming a huge part of today’s professional world, it is ideal that Data Scientists are one of the most demanding jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, data science will see more growth than almost any other field between now and 2029.
9. Is data science a good career?
With the demand for data scientists at an all-time high, a data scientist is definitely a good career choice. Along with high demand, the salaries are also competitive and come with multiple perks.