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Everything you need to know to be an expert Data Scientist

by Swati Shripal Singh

“Data scientists are kind of like the new Renaissance folks, because data science is inherently multidisciplinary.” ―John Foreman 

21st century marks an era of the digital age with burgeoning fields such as Data science, Analytics and Big Data. It’s been anticipated that Data is future! From analyzing the people’s response to government policies to shaping the product & services launch in the market, till gauging the upcoming crimes, data science has left imprints everywhere. Digitization has allowed a rapid shift of table work to desktop work making it easy to gather an enormous amount of data. The collected data from varied sources is subjected to interpretation, calculation, assessments to conclude a pattern of response and this entire work comes down to a Data Scientist.

Now, that you’re all caught up…let’s continue our cognizance over the work of Data Scientists!

Have you ever observed while you add something to your cart during online shopping the same things continues to pop on other windows as an advertisement. Have you ever thought how come it’s possible that the product you chose appears continuously? Netflix and Amazon Prime use the same trick for streaming the videos of preferences.

Let’s take another example- It’s been said that India is having a good demographic dividend for 20 more years where at presently Japan is facing issues with the demographic dividend for another decade. In response to this data Indian government has launched programs targeting youth development whereas Japan government is focusing on supporting its older population. This kind of use of data can have a positive everlasting impact. How come the government gets to know about such a pattern? How they used it to implement such impactful policies?

The answer to all question lies with Data Scientists!  So let’s look how one can dive in the world of data to become a data scientist.

Role of Data Scientist…

Before searching the path it is important to know about your destination! Similarly knowing the role of Data scientist can help one understand about the type of skills required to become one. If we look at the work profile of data scientist we will find that they deal with –

  • Data Collection – from the targeted and authentic sources
  • Analytical skills to curate data and assessment of same
  • Algorithm – to solve difficult queries and complicated data
  • Computer Languages – like Python and R programming
  • Visualization of Data- as mere numbers and digit becomes difficult to understand they translate it to the visual format which is easy to understand. The list can be endless but if someone has at least above mentioned skills they can walk towards their dream.

Qualification to become a Data Scientist…

Let’s understand the basic qualification required to climb the ladder ahead. The basic qualification can be summarized below –

  • Graduate Degree in Computer Science, Physics, Math’s etc.
  • Master’s Degree in Data Science or other relevant fields.
  • Practical experience is a must to face challenges ahead.

Don’t worry if you don’t have any specialization in the computer science field. Nowadays, it’s more about learning skills rather than getting a degree though having one makes you stand out from others. If someone wants to divert from their earlier field and want to get ahead with Data Science job then gaining the necessary skills can help. There are many certificate courses available online such as on MOOC’s, Coursera, TalenEdge, Udemy etc. Choose the appropriate courses which help you learn skills of Data Analytics, programming, Machine learning and basic Maths like linear algebra.

Getting into the circle…

Once the necessary skill has been gained it becomes very important to get into the circle rich with Data Scientist. Try to connect with people on LinkedIn and other social media to learn about the different positions. Choose the specialized field you want to enter into, as data science is applicable almost everywhere from politics, automobiles to healthcare industries. Attending the necessary Conferences and Meetups on Data science can act as fuel to your career.

Practical experience can help in getting a real picture of data science work as well as will be an added advantage. There are websites like Intershala where one can apply for on campus or part-time internships. The career in data science is prospective and one can even work as a freelancer. Try to connect with websites like Upwork to connect with companies looking for freelancers.

Once you have all the required skills ready, use it as your weapon to land into a Data Scientist Job. Becoming a Data scientist is lucrative not only because it offers good financial stability but also because it is very thought provoking and allows doing captivating work.

Data science is an ever-evolving field; it has an application almost everywhere. Every day there will be new technologies, new sets of applicability and new problems to be addressed. Thus a continuous learning system can help one to reach heights in this career. As it is said “Learning from data is virtually universally useful, Master it and you will be welcomed almost everywhere!” – John Elder. So buckle up your seat belts to achieve your dream of becoming Data Scientist.