What Does It Take to be an Excellent Data Scientist?
Going along the modernity of technology and the rise of big data comes a new job title called “data scientist”, a new profession that has evolved from a traditional data analyst role to a more inquisitive, more analytical role.
Data science needs a good blend of science and art, says Anmol Rajpurohit, an independent data scientist and consultant. The science portion obviously refers to mathematics, computer literacy, and programming, among other things. Equally significant is the art part, which refers to one’s creativity, ingenuity and profound circumstantial understanding. Putting these two factors together makes one a great convergent thinker.
Their role and significance make data scientist more in demand now.Click here to read more about this article
What does it take to shine as a data scientist?
- The Basic Skills – Starting with basics, a data scientist requires a strong foundation in mathematics including multivariable calculus, linear algebra and partial differential equation (PDE). Excellent mathematical skills are instrumental in understanding probability theory, computer science and machine learning. For one, matrix algebra is a must to be able to comprehend many concepts in machine learning. Some background in programming is also required, such as Python, which is considered by many as one of the most important languages for a data scientist to learn.
- Fast learner – Being a fast learner is the most important attribute for a data scientist, according to Anmol Rajpurohit. In this age of rapid technology advancement, some programming languages quickly become obsolete while new ones swiftly become popular. Therefore, it pays a lot to be a fast learner than to be an expert in any particular programming language.
- Experience – Like in other professions, years of practical experience applying what you have learned in school is essential to excel in this field. These experiences go beyond the extracting of data out of MySQL databases, producing data visualizations such as graphs and charts, cleaning data or managing dashboards about your company’s business.
- Strong business acumen – With a deep understanding of the entire business from sales, marketing, pricing, distribution, operations, finance, etc., a data scientist is able to deliver valuable analyses and recommendations enabling business leaders to make appropriate decisions. But more than just addressing business issues, an excellent data scientist identifies the right problems that are most valuable to the organization.
- Being inquisitive – An excellent data scientist explores and asks questions, actively performs “what if” analysis, and then communicates the results and recommendations to the business leaders.
- Right personality – It takes more than education and boot camps to be a successful data scientist. One’s personality adds to the matrix as well – being innately curious, determined and always wants to figure things out — that does well to the role of a data scientist, according to Roy Lowrance, managing director of New York University’s new Center for Data Science.
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