What Does a Data Scientist Do and How Do You Become One?

Blog General What Does a Data Scientist Do and How Do You Become One?
Business Management Or Business Administration – The Never Ending Confusion


Data collection and analysis is a crucial part of running a business. With detailed analysis of the collected data, the company can make better decisions and can do better business. In an era when we are debating how to use the Big Data effectively, the roles and responsibilities of a data scientist cannot be overstated.

With her tools for statistical analysis, a data scientist can process the data and understand what it conveys. She makes sense of the meaningless and incomprehensible tangle of data by spotting the hidden patterns and information lying underneath it. In the process, she will be able to derive meanings and interpret it so that the company can use this insight to better their business.

In other words, a data scientist translates a data consisting of figures and numbers into a language that uses intelligible vocabulary. This knowledge is mostly concerned with the financial performance of the company. By interpreting the results that the processed data provides, the company can assess every aspect of its business and make improvements, wherever needed. In this way, a data scientist helps a company in deciding its future course.

What are the responsibilities of a data scientist?

In a nutshell, the duty of a data scientist or a data analyst is to analyse data. The process of data analysis, however, includes many steps.

  • The first step to data analysis is the collection of data from various sources. The outlets of data are numerous. The data collected can be structured or unstructured. The unstructured data, delivered in the form of reviews, feedbacks and social media posts, has a wealth of information to offer, making it highly difficult to manage. It requires the expertise of a data scientist to make use of this data and exploit them to the company’s advantage.
  • From the heap of raw data, a data scientist has to extract information and present it in a comprehensible form. Before proceeding, one has to verify the integrity and authenticity of the collected data. This is done by cleaning the data and ridding it of its frills. The data scientist, after harvesting the data, processes it and cleans it before simplifying it further.
  • A processed and verified data is ready for detailed analysis. A data scientist should primarily be a master of the various tools and techniques used to perform statistical analysis. Using these tools, she can extract the hidden information from the data.
  • After deriving the meaning from the raw mass of data, a data scientist has to interpret the result obtained and arrive at a conclusion which will show the company the way to proceed.
  • Among other things, a data scientist is also required to develop AI tools for data analysis. Automation of the process makes it easier and quicker. Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence by which the computer observes the data and automatically learns data analysis as it proceeds. To elaborate, in this method, the computer learns and improves the methods of data analysis automatically by observing and understanding the different sets of data and identifying the patterns, with no human help whatsoever. The computer, as a result, functions without any explicit instructions or programming.
  • Also, by developing an automated method of detecting flaws, deviances and anomalies, the data processing can be made more accurate. Data analysis requires the prowess of a data scientist and the aid of artificial intelligence in equal parts. The companies today make no qualms about investing in the development of artificial intelligence techniques for data analysis.
  • Furthermore, it is essential to monitor the performance of data scientists continually. The accuracy of the analysis process must be kept in check. The inconsistencies, if detected, should be set right by corrective measures. The assessment process makes sure that the data scientists are right on track.

Why do companies need data scientists?

In the current competitive market, it is not possible for a company to survive without a state-of-the-art business analytics system. Every bit of data should be scrutinised to study the customer choices, preferences, the profitability of a product and the scope for improvement. Major decisions regarding production, inventorying and distribution now hinge on the verdict of data scientists.

The salaries of data scientists in global market:

Several factors come into play while deciding the salary of a data scientist. Of them, the most crucial one is experience. As the individual gains experience, she climbs to higher rungs in the field which roughly translates to higher salary. It is not to say that this is the only deciding factor. If you have the backing of a good education, you are more likely to land a lucrative job in a well-reputed company. This will prove to be an excellent start to your career. In addition, if you have in possession all the bankable skills, you can make a fortune. Some of the skills that are in high demand are data mining and machine learning. The prowess of the individual in java, python etc. will also be well rewarded.

As per reports, in India, a data scientist on an average receives 620K rupees per annum. However, it is important to remember that top companies all over the world have a massive demand for a data scientist of mettle and pay them a decent salary, some countries more than the others. The median salary varies with locations.

According to surveys, the United States of America tops the list of countries where data scientists are awarded high salaries. This is especially true for the places that are home to big companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon etc. As the era of Big Data has just dawned on us, the demand for data scientists is only likely to peak further from here. In fact, in 2016, Glassdoor website conferred it the title of "best job of 2016". So much is the buzz around the profession that it was also described as one of the ‘sexiest jobs of the 21st century' by the Harvard Business Review.

Qualifications of data scientist:

Educational qualifications have a crucial role to play in landing your first job. As companies are looking for people well equipped to undertake the mammoth task of mining the vast heap of data and provide them with the right counsel, your educational background will have a huge bearing.

All the data scientists who make it big have exceedingly proper credentials concerning their education. While they should possess an aptitude for Mathematics and an innate skill to deal with numbers, data scientists must also be well-trained in Statistics and programming. One must necessarily have a Master's Degree and preferably a PhD to excel in the field. Getting your degree from a university of good reputation will be an ideal starting point for your journey as a data scientist.

With proper training, you can perform to the best of your abilities. In addition to analytical skills, a data scientist must also possess skills for effective communication, a flair for programming, the ability to understand different programming languages, and a clear understanding of the machine learning techniques. A course in business analytics will widen your scope of understanding data and familiarise you with tools and techniques required for data analysis.

Popular certification courses:

The Hughes Global Education provides the following courses for a working person aspiring to be a data scientist:

Executive Programme in Business Analytics (IIM Calcutta)

Certified by IIM Calcutta, this course will enrich you with the Business Analytics skill that will be highly beneficial to your career growth. Divided into different modules, the syllabus covers topics like Data Mining, Business Intelligence, Financial Analytics, and Spreadsheet Modelling etc. The executive long distance programme will focus on Interactive Onsite Learning. This will provide the working professionals with all the required skills to advance their career.

**Enrollment Open for EPBA Batch 2018-2019

**Last Date of Application: 30th June, 2018

Executive Programme in Advanced Business Analysis (IIM Ahmedabad)

This is a long distance programme, in the field of Business Analytics specifically designed for working professionals. Every major business feels the need for business analytics. This course aims to make you fit enough to take up the task of business analysis. The syllabus covers a vast array of topics like machine learning, statistical modelling, financial analytics, marketing analytics etc. spanning over different modules. The course follows an interactive teaching method and provides certificates by IIM Ahmedabad on its completion.

**Enrollment Closed But You Can Still Apply for Our EPABA Next Batch

The profession of data scientist is not just a fad that will eventually run out of steam. It is a very promising profession with a lot of potential for growth. Today, we have developed a general understanding of the wonders a data scientist can do to the business of a firm. Hence, there is a spurt in the number of people who are seriously considering this as a career choice. If you are an aspirant, all you need to do is strive hard to complete your education with flying colours, and you can rest assured that there will always be enough space in the world for another data scientist. With the increasing reliance of companies on data analytics for making every major decision, the profession will not go out of trend any time soon.

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