As we usher in 2014, and the business world gears up to face the challenges of another year, once again the buzz is all about data analytics and big data. Being where we are in the analytics training space, we can definitely hear how loud this buzz really is. We notice a growing demand for data analysts and are seeing a greater number of professionals and students from varying sectors investing in gaining data analysis skills. Indeed there seems to be a heightened awareness about the field as a lot more companies adopt data analytics initiatives. These companies have recognized the importance of harnessing their data and using the insights derived to make crucial operational and strategic decisions.
But guess what? Most companies or even those training to be data scientists are still not very clear as to what the role of the data scientist truly entails. Well the truth is, this is all still very new and just like its industry, it will continue to develop and evolve over the next few years.
For the time being though what’s clear is that the role will have a strong emphasis on technology. Other than a few large companies like Google or eBay, most companies are still in the process of setting up the infrastructure to handle big data, and so technology skilled people are going to be very important. Most of the data science processing is still very report oriented so someone with data management/data mining plus IT skills will be very valued.
As the big data and analytics industry evolves, companies will get more secure and feel more confident about the power of their data. They will then begin to recruit many more people with statistics and analytics skills, to fill even traditional marketing, HR and finance roles.
This year we will also see the role of the data scientist become more specialized. Companies will invest in data science teams rather than data scientist individuals, with the team having people with IT, statistics, and business experience.
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Here is a quick look at some of the more specialized roles we might be looking at this year:
1. Data Explorers/ Data Hygienists: They will be required to sift through huge amounts of data, both internal and external and discover what is significant and useful. They have to ensure that clean and accurate data is made available for analysis and manipulation throughout the life cycle of the data analysis.
2. Data Engineers: They will work primarily in the big data space and will build and design tools and programs to maintain and support the data at hand. They will also be responsible for the day-to-day upkeep and maintenance of big data infrastructure.
3. Data Change Agents: These people will work towards initiating changes within the organization based on data analytics insights derived by the data scientists. They will introduce process improvements in operational divisions, while managing the change mindset of the employees.
If you have made the decision to become a data scientist, you probably are really in the right place, at the right time. The scope for data scientists seems humongous and all predictions say, that the scenario will only get better. So go back to analyzing that data and be rest assured that indeed, your career is set to explode.