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KM education: Data science takes the lead

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What is a data scientist?

Data scientists develop models that extract meaning from large, complex data sets, and they use the results to create value for the organization. Quantitative techniques such as statistics and analytics are the methods through which meaning is derived, which helps identify and direct data-driven decisions in organizations. Visualization of results is often a key component of their work, because it helps make the analyses understandable to those in decision-making roles.

Data scientists often have a computer science background, with programming skills and the ability to collect, process and interpret data of many different types, including both structured and unstructured. Proficiency in Python, R, SQL, Java and Javascript and in big data software such as Apache Hadoop and Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) are additional skills data scientists may bring to the table.

What makes them most unique, however, is their mix of computer science, mathematical and domain expertise. That mix, along with an inquisitive nature, fuels the type of investigations that provide deep understanding of business problems and generate the information needed to solve them. Although they work in concert with business users, data scientists often instigate projects based on their own observations, and that ability is also considered a critical part of their professional makeup.

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