Data Science

“Sexy” Data Science is a Team Sport

Data scientist,” still fresh, is my word of the year. In 2013, the data analysis industry discovered it, many loved or hated it, but most of all, we repeated it. Google Trends shows the mention of it soaring like the 1990s Dow Jones Industrial Average — and you know what happens next.
Alert as data scientists are to patterns, I wonder if many don’t shudder at the “sexy” label. If so, they might have had some comfort from a discussion around the big table at the Pacific Northwest BI Summit. There, calm conversation displaced the industry’s noise around the topic for nearly two hours last summer.
Consider the onerous job description. “A data scientist has to be a statistician, has to be a storyteller, they have to be a liaison, understand visualization tools, have to understand various modeling techniques and algorithms. The list goes on and on,” said discussion co-leader and SAS vice president of best practices Jill Dyché . She is also the co-author with Davenport on a 2013 report, “Big Data in Big Companies.” One person can’t master all of it.

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