Who Are Data Scientists?

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The job of a data scientist has been labelled as the “sexiest job of the 21st century” by Harvard Business Review. But what does this job entail? Data scientists work with large quantities of structured and unstructured data.

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The job of a data scientist has been labelled as the “sexiest job of the 21st century” by Harvard Business Review. But what does this job entail Data scientists work with large quantities of structured and unstructured data. Structured data refers to organized information that is easily accessible. Unstructured data on the other hand is less organized. The lack of structure makes compiling and interpreting this form of data a messy and tedious task. The challenge of the modern world is to keep up with seemingly infinite volumes of ever-changing types of data. The data scientists’ job is to help decision makers interact with and interpret data for specific purposes. A data scientist is driven by the desire to uncover the underlying principles governing a data set. He likes to solve problems and can make accurate associations between disparate or incomplete data sets. The data scientist is usually a master communicator. Not only is he proficient in programming languages but also in verbal and visual languages that help him be an interpreter and communicator of data. In short the data scientist is a hacker an analyst a communicator and an adviser all wrapped in one. Data scientists perform many key functions at work. They do not merely present data or advise decision-makers but contribute greatly to the development of products and businesses. Data scientists at Google for instance work to improve the search engine and ad targeting. At Zynga they work to improve the engagement rates of and revenues from games. At Netflix they try to recommend the best movies. And at Kaplan they work to evaluate learning methods.

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