The data scientist role has been called the “sexiest job” of the century. That may overstate things, but it catches your attention. And it raises questions: what’s all the fuss? What exactly is a data scientist, and what do companies need them for?
The first thing to understand is that data scientists are more than just re-branded business analysts. They have a distinctive set of skills, aptitudes and attitudes which distinguish them from their quantitative brethren. They are the highly educated experts who operate at the frontier of analytics, where data sets are so large and the data so messy that less-skilled analysts using traditional tools cannot make sense of them.