As data science continues to evolve, the future data scientist may well look very different also. Right now, talented data scientists are rare and extremely coveted, mostly due to the diverse and subsequently unique skillset that companies are looking for.
“In trying to make sense of the vast amount of data gathered on a daily basis and use it to solve business problems, spot trends and make decisions to support new ideas, we need people with a mix of statistics, databases, data visualisation, machine-learning, coding and data preparation skills,” explains Karl Hoods, chief digital and information officer at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Are Data Scientists becoming too stretched?
Data Expert and Author Bernard Marr said that as the number of data science professionals increases in the next couple of years, companies will be looking for more specialised skill sets.
The separation of different types of data scientists is already occurring due to data professionals being burdened with extreme workloads, mainly due to the current skills gap.
The future data scientist will have a more sector-specific skill set and less generalised because currently, the role suffers from too broad a remit according to Iain Brown, head of data science at SAS UK and Ireland.
This not to say that a future data scientist will need to have domain knowledge. Data is still data whether its a charity or a huge multinational.
It’s more important for employers to find data scientists who are able to harness their unending curiosity coupled with a logical and creative mind, and a background in making a quantifiable impact on their business,” says Caroline Carruthers, a former data leader at Network Rail and Lowell
The Future Data Scientist Will Have More Support.
Big data and artificial intelligence as a whole will inevitably completely transform the average workplace. This will lead to employees at all levels of a company becoming more data literate. This is a challenge for business leaders already as they are faced with training their staff for a future where machines augment work and create new job roles.
It is vital that companies ensure every employee is able to understand, analyse and interrogate data. Building technologies that generate vast amounts of data are pointless without data literate employees.
So as data literacy across the workplace increases, the burden placed on data scientists will subsequently lessen. Allowing for the future data scientist to be even more specialised, tackling the most business-critical and complex challenges that will help their businesses make revolutionary leaps forward.