What is Data Science?
Before we reach to the why level, let’s understand what data science is?
Data science, is an interdisciplinary field about scientific methods, processes, and systems to extract knowledge or insights from data in various forms, either structured or unstructured, similar to data mining.
It employs techniques and theories drawn from many fields within the broad areas of mathematics, statistics, information science, and computer science, in particular from the subdomains of machine learning, classification, cluster analysis, data mining, databases, and visualization.
Below diagram sums up what data science is:
What do Data Scientists do?
Data scientists use their data and analytical ability to find and interpret rich data sources; manage large amounts of data despite hardware, software, and bandwidth constraints; merge data sources; ensure consistency of datasets; create visualizations to aid in understanding data; build mathematical models using the data; and present and communicate the data insights/findings. They work by exploratory analysis and rapid iteration and they are often expected to produce answers in days rather than months.
Below diagram sums up, what to expect in terms of remunerations when you become a data scientist:
As a data scientist, you must be great in maths, amazing in data crunching and awesome in visualization. There is no doubt that you shall be among the very well paid people too.
What do Google Trends indicate about Data Science?
A look at the google trends of the keyword “Data Science” shows following graph:
This clearly indicates that the Data Science in itself is not new. However, in last 3-4 years, there has been continuous rise in the interest in the Data Science. If you look at the graph in the last 3-years then it has been on a steady rise:
A comparison with other hot technology areas
Among the top technology areas, Data Science is on the continuous rise. While UX design has also been on rise, the slope is not as steep as you can see for the data science. Of course, the interest in Big Data seems to be still intact and that will further boost the need for more data scientists.
A look at the same data from the United States data indicates that the interest in the Data Science is actually about to cross the interest in Big Data. Knowing the fact that US often lead the world in technology adoption, this definitely indicates that the good time for Data Scientist has begun.
Finally a look at the job trends on indeed shows following:
This chart shows that while there is some kind of stagnation in Big Data jobs or Visualization jobs, the data science demand is upward.
This rise in job seeker’s interests, clearly indicates that people have started finding the Data Scientist job a high profile job, which will serve them for longer.
What is driving this growth?
Rapid growth of data
Below IDC research indicates an exponential growth in the data and we all know that it will still take some time before digitalization reaches to all the households.
Easy availability of powerful computing and a competition among them
Not too long ago, the RAMs on desktops were available in MBs and servers with few GBs RAM were not uncommon. Now the machines have become more powerful. A lot of computation happens locally. However, the cloud has been a true driver in the digital transformation.
Below Gartner Magic Quadrant for IaaS shows the very well known cloud computing companies and we all know how aggressive they are in terms of serving their customers.
Credit: Gartner Magic Quadrant for IaaS
Reducing Cost of Data Storage
8-10 years ago, data storage was still a big deal. Thanks to the cloud providers and need for sharing data with people across different locations (including accessing from multiple devices), instead of deleting the data, people just think of storing the data with the mindset that you never know when it will become useful.
Following chart shows the ever falling cost of data storage, even though the investment to store data has increased over the period:
There are companies, which invest in storage and applications and allow you to create more data. While this is free for the consumers, the minimum that you can think is that the businesses will become profitable by making some serious use of this data. Thus a great opportunity for data scientists.
Desire to get more out of the data
Everyone wants to minimize error in their decision and people do want to make use of technologies to solve problems which were considered unsolvable. So, the ever increasing desire of using the data to solve complex problems has been further pushing the need for storage and analysis of the data.
All this indicates that people will make use of this data like never before.
I hope I have given you enough reason to consider data science as a serious career option. There is a continuous increase in demand and interest, and the kind of data that is getting produced, there is no doubt that the upward trend will continue for at least a decade.
Stay tuned for more insight on this topic and keep enhancing your skills!