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Data Scientist - Roles Beyond Conventional Analytics

I believe that the person who are reading this blogpost (maybe most of them) also search for the term related with data scientist or data science in the internet. Career as Data Scientist has gain interest, exponentially by either individual or organization and label as "The sexiest job in the 21st century" by Harvard Business.

However, the job scope and education requirement for Data Scientist still in the grey area, thus undervalue this position to be awarded for individual who can write a code, process the data and come out with the opinion from the analysis of the data.

Before I further elaborate my opinion about the career of Data Scientist, let's discuss about well-established facts on career as Scientist. I believe you are familiar with the name Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. They are amongst famous scientist with their greatest and valuable contribution in Physics and Science.

A scientist is someone who expert in specific field of knowledge in science and conduct advance scientific research for testing a new theory and idea. They expert in specific domain of knowledge. They initiate their scientific research by formulating hypothesis based on observation, testing the idea through experimental work, then try to understand the phenomenon supporting with fundamental knowledge, then later lead to the new discovery.

The common traits of scientist are they have curious minds, observant, and able to perform experimental work to validate their hypothesis. To be able to explain what happen to their findings, they must have deep understanding in their field.

Famous scientist such as Einstein and Newton, both demonstrate high level of intellectual ability that beyond average human imagination. Take Newton for example; the idea of his gravitational theory initiates when an apple dropped onto his head. His curious mind has expanded this observation into actions; performing numbers of experimental work to investigate why that phenomenon happen. Finally, his effort rewarded after go through hard-work to come out with the theory.

Now we back to our main topic, Data Scientist. The individual recognized as Data Scientist not only because they can obtain insight from data using sets of programming tools, but they have to:

  • able to understand the problem and client's requirements

  • formulating hypothesis to explain the observation

  • performing numerical experiment to test their theory or hypothesis using advance mathematical model and programming tools/software packages

  • evaluate and validate the experimental result and conclude the findings

  • consulting the client on strategic action to be implemented to solve their problem

In data science project, Data Scientist is a project leader who is responsible to coordinate and monitor the overall work activities, from start until the completion of the project. He or she has to manage a team of professionals who has their own expertise and skill require to complete specific task of the project. Thus, data scientist also needs a skill to manage talent and give the right command to the team member.

To summarize, data scientist roles is mainly to solve real problem. It is not about utilizing advance programming technique or software to generate tables and graphs to show insights - but it is a necessary skill require by data scientist to process raw data. But most important is they must be able to proposing measurable solutions and strategic actions to their client or organization.

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