The Role of a Data Scientist in Business
By Matt Brennan
The role of data scientists is an important one for business. In order to look at it, we have to examine the increasing importance of data in companies of all sizes.
The use of data is critical for business growth and development. The right data can improve the ability to make important business decisions. It can help companies use resources more efficiently and reduce waste. It gives businesses a means to make more informed decisions that can lead to new opportunities.
But in order to properly collect and evaluate the right information, it helps to have someone who can help you to make sense of it. This is where data scientists come into play. Data scientists will continue to be in high demand, as the information that they evaluate also continues to increase in value and importance.
What Does a Data Scientist Do?
The data that you collect is useful, but making sense of it may feel similar to making sense of a foreign language. That’s where data scientists come into play. They distill vast amounts of information to help other stakeholders make informed decisions. Below are some of the responsibilities that may include:
- To gather large amounts of data and interpret it in an understandable format.
- To use programming to extract value and insights.
- To discover any useful trends.
- To stay on top of data trends with technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, or text analytics.
Data Scientists Are Important In Businesses of All Sizes
It used to be that only large companies invested in data. But as the importance of collecting data has increased for businesses of all sizes, so has the need to employ talented data scientists, to help extract maximum value from that data.
Small startups, mid-size businesses, and Fortune 500 companies all rely on the data they collect to remain competitive within their markets. New software makes data more accessible to companies of all sizes. This makes hiring data scientists a no-brainer, to get the most out of the information around you.
Data Scientists Set the Foundation for Truth
An organization is only as strong as the data it collects and utilizes to make more informed decisions. This is especially true in a more competitive industry, where other businesses may be making use of their data collection practices.
Data scientists set the foundation for truth within an organization. They provide information that sets the path forward. They can offer new ways of handling familiar problems while creating new paradigms for doing business.
Because of their increasing importance in the business world, they’ve been under short supply.
The Current Shortage of Data Scientists
As the role of data has become more critical for companies, so is the ability to synthesize it into a format that allows companies to make more informed decisions. Over the last few years, salaries have increased for these positions, as companies scramble to hire qualified people for these positions.
The opportunity cost is high for companies that aren’t able to hire the right person for their position. A shortage of data scientists has been documented over the last few years, as these factors have converged. One study predicts that the demand for these positions will grow significantly between now and 2026.
The job requires a unique blend of technical skill and analytics. They require the skill of a mathematician, a programmer, and someone with the ability to translate key trends in a manner that other executives, and co-workers from other departments will be able to understand. This combination of skills can be hard to find one single person, adding to their value.
Data scientists gain entry into the field in any number of ways, but it usually starts with a 4-year degree from an accredited college. Many have advanced degrees as well. About 38 percent have a PhD, and 73 percent have a graduate degree.
The high levels of education necessary add to the growing demand.