Who is a data scientist?

If only there was an easy way to answer the question! 😢

Odds are, the answer will change depending on who you ask. Here's how the chief economist at Google defines the role of a data scientist:

The ability to take data — to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it — that’s going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades.

Hal Varian, chief economist at Google

Data scientists are experts in data analysis, statistics, computer science, machine learning and business management. They are adept at data mining, modeling and visualization.

Data scientists also possess extensive excellent communication skills as a large part of their job is to explain the results of their analysis to their non-technical counterparts in a convincing way.

What does a data scientist do?

Using this information, they analyze massive amounts of raw data (structured and unstructured) with algorithms for statistical techniques to derive insights that drive decision-making within an organization.

To do that, data scientists should understand the business goals of an organization and ask relevant questions to come up with answers to help the organization arrive at those goals.

Asking the right questions helps them:

  1. Identify the relevant data sources
  2. Organize the information from these sources
  3. Analyze the data to extract meaningful insights
  4. Communicate these insights to key stakeholders using visualization and storytelling techniques to drive decision-making

Think we're missing something? 🧐 Help us update this article by sending us your suggestions here. 🙏

See also

Articles you might be interested in

  1. What is a data scientist?
  2. What is data science?
  3. The most in demand skills for data scientists
  4. Aspiring data scientist? Master these fundamentals