Big Data is one of the hottest technologies around, but companies are struggling to succeed in their Big Data projects. Bringing in developers with Hadoop and NoSQL skills isn't enough, so companies are now turning to data scientists to help them find value in their data.
Data Scientist Is a Top-Rated Job
As a result of that push, Data Scientist sat in the number one position in a recent Glassdoor survey of the best jobs in America. Not only does the job offer a high median base salary, the position provides plenty of opportunity and job satisfaction.
Data Scientist Skills and Responsibilities
Data Scientists help companies make sense of the structured and unstructured data collected by corporate information systems. Insights from this analysis can help companies identify new marketing opportunities to increase profits or improve manufacturing processes to reduce costs.
Creating those insights requires a combination of analytical and technical skills. Data Scientists need a strong background in advanced statistical, mathematical, and analytical methods. They may use methods such as textual analysis, machine learning, or data mining to search for meaningful patterns in very large databases.
Data Scientists work with tools to help them manage and manipulate large-scale databases, including SQL, NoSQL, and Hadoop. In some companies, the technical aspects of creating an infrastructure to store and retrieve large data sets is handled by the Data Scientists, while in other firms those responsibilities fall to an engineering team.
Data Scientists can fill the role of business intelligence or data analysis, writing reports against existing databases. They may write programs in statistical tools such as R and Matlab, as well as general purpose programming languages like C++, Java, and Python. Because a large part of their job requires presenting insights to business management, understanding data visualization and reporting technology is vital. Data Scientists need a strong understanding of the business domain to relate the connections found in the data to business operations. In many cases, the end product of a data science project is a computer program and data scientists often work as part of a team that incorporates their analytical methods into a production software application.
Given the varied responsibilities of a Data Scientist, it's important to understand exactly what you'll do on the job at any given company. Conduct an analysis of your own career interests to help you select the right Data Scientist job for you.