Big data is everywhere – every day, terabytes upon terabytes of new data is generated by every digital device or social media exchange. The growth of big data has also given rise to the fields of data analytics, and the job of data scientist.
Typically, a data scientist is a person with solid training in computer science, modelling, statistics, analytics and maths. Data scientists are adept at using a number of programming languages, and are comfortable with testing new technologies.
The work of a data scientist is challenging; it involves navigating through large volumes of unstructured data, trying to find relevant sets of information and creating meaningful and visually compelling reports. The importance of data scientist's role is not only in the collection of huge amounts of data but in looking at that information from different angles and deciding which information is relevant to their job.
Apart from strong technical skills, data scientists possess skills such analytical abilities, attention to detail, inquisitive approach to data (exploring and asking questions), and proficiency at using emerging technologies. A data scientist's job involves making complex patterns in data understandable to people who may have little understanding of the topic, so soft skills such as communication are also important.
The field of data science has many applications in both the private and public sectors; from online helping online marketers assess the effectiveness of their campaigns, to enabling policymakers to make appropriate public health interventions - all through the smart use of data.