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How data scientist jobs differ from other BI and analytics roles

According to careers expert Matt Mueller, data scientists must be able to take deep dives into data. Learn what else sets them apart from other analytics professionals.

How do data scientist jobs differ from other BI and analytics jobs? And what kind of training or education is required...

to become a data scientist?

A data scientist takes analytics and data warehousing programs to the next level: What is the data really telling a company, and is the company able to decipher relevant data from irrelevant data? A data scientist will hopefully be able to leverage the enterprise data warehouse currently in place to take a deeper dive into the data coming out of the EDW or to analyze new types of data stored in Hadoop clusters and other big data systems. And a data scientist will not just report on data as a classic BI developer does, but also make business insights based on the data.

A data scientist is also more likely to have strong business sense and the ability to communicate data-driven conclusions to business stakeholders. Strong data scientists will not just address business problems; they'll also pick the right problems that have the most value to the organization. I feel a data scientist job is a more strategic position within an organization.

Data scientists will look through all available data with the goal of discovering a previously hidden insight, which in turn can provide a competitive advantage or address a pressing business problem. Data scientists do not simply collect and report on data -- they also look at it from many angles, determine what it means, then recommend ways to apply the data.

For a data scientist job, the best education is your typical computer science, math and/or statistics curriculum. I have heard a number of universities are creating degree programs specifically for data scientists. That could be a helpful step in boosting the available ranks of job candidates with data scientist skills.

Next Steps

Should you hire a data scientist, or train one?

Experts discuss the results of a data scientist salary survey

How will self-service BI tools affect data scientist jobs?

This was last published in February 2015

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What do you think sets data scientist jobs apart from other BI and analytics roles in the field?
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Even from its basic level, operational BI ensures corporate executives and other stakeholders monitor events in their businesses. The technology has the ability to feed BI data to operational workers by automating analytics process which influence business decisions based on the data it accumulates. It builds up on operational business intelligence which means it is able to realize prospective customers and maximizes on profits with reduced overhead costs. It also works as an information center.
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Big data industry is growing fast! (Dummies book just came out). Matt do you think DS'es should niche down focusing on data in one industry?
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Sounds like a statistician to me...data scientist...yet another inane malapropism.
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Since there is a need to data analysis to translate other than BI departments Query, in this case should be some people sit to find out the elements or factors that can answer the Query and for further Query (after finding some results)then it needs some data science actions to resolve it in terms of analysis to the hidden insights.
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