A few years ago, the role of Data Scientist began appearing on career sites with talent acquisition teams trolling the market looking for such talent. So, what is a Data Scientist? WHY are these individuals so important and in such high demand in today’s economy?
Simply put, a Data Scientist is an individual who applies basic logic and observations to formulate and test theories relating to data. As our society has switched over to an almost completely virtual economy and life-style, these individuals have enabled their employers to understand consumer behavior and apply logic that brings predictive capabilities to their market growth strategies.
Think about this, if a large company knows a consumer’s age, educational level (and possibly their GPA), school they graduated from, debt load, residential address, and other things like credit score, they can begin to predict what type of behaviors they can drive. For example, a young professional with a new job, in a growing suburban area that is full of certain types of luxury cars, then a good credit score is a great indicator of someone who is likely in the luxury car market.
Or, consider a recent college grad, living in the wide-open spaces of the southwest, working for an oil company, it is highly likely that a nice pickup truck will be a short-term purchase.
These are some simplified examples of how data can be gathered and used.
For employers and employees, you MUST be aware of the organizations that have access to YOUR data. Once data is sent outside of an employer’s corporate walls, the receiving third party often forgets “whose” data they have. They simply view that data source (often referred to as an “asset”), as something for their data scientists to access in order to create new products and offer new analytical ideas to the market. Here are a few good articles/blogs sharing more insight into the Data Scientist role: