Data scientists are analytical data experts who use their knowledge of statistics, machine learning and data visualization to solve complex business problems. They are highly proficient in business analysis, data analysis and model building using a variety of proprietary and open source algorithms.
A data scientist is someone who knows how to extract actionable insights from both structured and unstructured data. With the increase in volume and veracity of data in recent years, the importance and need for data scientists have significantly increased. Today data science is one of the most sought after roles in the talent marketplace. Although the demand for experienced data scientists have increased exponentially in recent years, supply has not been able to keep up resulting in a big shortage of talent in this space.
Data scientists start with raw data and their first job is to get the data into analysis ready shape. Once they get the data into shape, next comes exploratory data analysis, which combines visualization and business domain knowledge. Using a variety of tools and techniques, a data scientist finds patterns and build models. After testing and validating the models, a data scientist then engages with business users and the IT department to operationalize those models.
Data scientists are required to be very proficient in programming languages such as R and Python. They are also required to know open source machine learning packages written for R and Python such as scikit-learn. A data scientist must balance his knowledge of machine learning algorithms with his data analysis skills, programming skills and business acumen.
Hiring good data scientists has become a big challenge for the companies. Finding the right candidate with the right experience and right skills is a very difficult task. Many companies struggle to justify the high salaries data scientists expect. Therefore it's very important that companies screen the right candidates right from the beginning and only bring the best which fit their specific needs and requirements.