Data Science? What on Earth Is this?

Data science is an emerging field. Over the past few years, there’s been a lot of hype in the media about “data science” and “Big Data.”

The past fifteen years have seen extensive investments in business infrastructure, which have improved the ability to collect data throughout the enterprise. Virtually every aspect of the business is now open to data collection and often even instrumented for data collection: operations, manufacturing, supply-chain management, customer behavior, marketing campaign performance, workflow procedures, and so on. At the same time, information is now widely available on external events such as market trends, industry news, and competitors’ movements. This broad availability of data has led to increasing interest in methods for extracting useful information and knowledge from data—the realm of data science.

Data Science for Business – Foster Provost and Tom Fawcett

What is Data Science?

Data science is the exploration and quantitative analysis of all available (both structured and unstructured) data to develop an understanding to extract knowledge and formulate an actionable result.

In simple words, data science is the field in which we look at the data and analyze

  • What Happened?
  • Why it Happened?
  • What Will Happen?

We do these analyses so that we can understand and learn from the past (both good and bad) and prepare for future. For example, a bank can analyze what kind of investment returned the most profit in the past and can continue to do so, stop investing in areas that do not give much profit and identify the areas where they can invest in the future.

Who is Data Scientist and What Do they Do?

According to Harvard Business Review, Data Scientist is The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century.

“A data scientist is someone who is better at statistics than any software engineer and better at software engineering than any statistician.”

A data scientist

  • Collects
  • Cleans
  • Represents
  • Analyze and
  • Interpret the results

A data scientist is someone who has knowledge of statistics, computer science, hacking and is an expert in a certain field. The Veen diagram below shows the skills that a data a scientist needs.


Looks Great! ! Where Can I Start?

IF anyone wants to get started with data science and start an amazing journey to get “The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century”, then there are some good resources available. There are some great books and Massive Open Online Courses(MOOC) that can be very useful.

Some Good BOOKS:

  • Doing Data Science: Straight Talk from the Frontline – Cathy O’Neil and Rachel
  • Data Science for Business – Foster Provost, Tom Fawcett
  • Data Science from Scratch – Joel Grus

Massive Open Online Courses(MOOC) are also available in Coursera, Udacity, Edx and Big Data University.

Some Interesting Sites to Visit

This website contains analysis and visualization of the data related to American politics.

This website is a place to host the various competition, get data set and learn data science.

asks its members to answer thousands of questions in order to find the most appropriate matches for them. But it also analyzes these results to figure out innocuous-sounding questions you can ask someone to find out how likely someone is to sleep with you on the first date.

Next time we will take start some simple analysis of data. Till then let’s live a busy, happy and healthy life. 😀


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