Data Scientist – The Who, What and Why


A geek who can dig out valuable insights from the big mine of data. A data scientist possesses strong skills in analytics, data mining, engineering, machine learning, algorithms and programming. A bonus would be, if he can understand the commerce and create a demand.

There are few database ad data-ware housing solutions available like Hadoop, Storm and Greenplum which help you to store and manage the unstructured and unsymmetrical data. The data scientist needs to have a good knowledge and understanding about these tools. This would help in deciding which solution would be suitable for the organization, depending upon the problem that the organization is trying to solve or the innovation they are eyeing on.

A data scientist is someone who is curious, reading and analyzing the data, spotting future demands, or a problem that’s unseen or being ignored, helping organizations to get ready for the future. Being said that, please note, a data scientist is not a miracle worker, a work of data scientist is like working in the salt mines. For the data scientist to dig out the insights, it will take some amount of time, need to have patience, there will be a lot of hard work to be done.

Like any other employee, apart from the technical abilities, the data scientist will also need to have the basic qualities which are seriously required to stay well employed in any organization.

He needs to be a good team worker, should be able coordinate and get along well with other employees. This is important, because skills can be taught but to be a team player, you can’t.

It would be real big asset, if he’s got some entrepreneurial or business skills. because then the communications would be much smoother on both ends, on the managers end as well as the engineers, programmers and designers end.

The most important ability the data scientist needs to have, is good communication skills. He should be able to explain the hidden gems in the data. Because from this point forward, the organization will start bringing in and developing ideas and planning and initiating projects and further researches.

As a startup, if you think you won’t be able to afford a data scientist or you think you can do it or want to do it yourself, i’ll recommend Stacey Higginbotham’s post ‘Want to ditch your data scientists? here are 7 startups that can help‘ . These are 7 startups which are trying to make the big data easy to understand, study and process.

photo source: Travis Isaacs