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Data Scientist

Data Scientists analyze business data for actionable intelligence.

Data scientists mine and analyze data from a range of sources, including customer transactions, click streams, sensors, social media, log files and GPS plots. Their mission is to unlock valuable and predictive insights that will influence business decisions and spur a competitive advantage.

The data explosion – fueled by increased bandwidth and processing power, innovative data analysis tools, and the proliferation of inexpensive cloud-based storage solutions – has placed Data Scientist among the most demanded and lucrative IT careers. Data scientists’ salary and demand are well-deserved, as their findings have the potential to make or break the business. To illustrate this point, a 2011 study from the McKinsey Global Institute indicates retailers that maximize data analysis capabilities could increase profits by a whopping 60%, while the health care industry can reduce operational expenses by 8% – that’s $200 billion per year.

The most successful – and sought after – data scientists possess that rare combination of analytical skills, technical prowess and business acumen needed to effectively analyze massive data sets while thinking critically and shifting assumptions on the go, ultimately transforming raw intelligence into concise and actionable insights.

What about BIG DATA? The main difference between “big data analysis” and “data analysis” is that big data sets are beyond the threshold of typical database management systems. Due to its massive size and heterogeneous structure, big data is often rendered visually, as a heat map or tree map for example, allowing big data scientists to identify, analyze and present complex patterns that would otherwise remain hidden.

a.k.a. Data Architect | Data Analyst | Big Data Scientist | BI Analyst | BI Engineer | Data Mining Engineer



Data Scientist Skills
Data Scientist Salaries
Data Scientist Education Requirements
Data Scientist Training & Degrees
Data Scientist Certifications
Data Scientist Jobs
Data Scientist Job Outlook


Data Scientist Skills & Responsibilities

Typical day-to-day activities and in-demand skill sets for Data Scientists include:

  • Perform data-mining, modeling and hypothesis generation in support of high-level business goals.
  • Stay current with emerging tools and techniques in machine learning, statistical modeling & analytics.
  • Successful data scientists often have strong aptitudes for business, technology, mathematics & statistics.
  • Need strong oral & written communication skills to present data as a concise story for diverse audiences.
  • Big data scientists develop customized algorithms to solve analytical problems with incomplete data sets.
  • Big data scientists often use data visualizations, e.g., heat maps, to analyze and present complex trends.
  • Many data scientists use Hadoop – an open-source Apache framework – to analyze & mine big data sets.
  • Some data scientists have computer programming skills – such as SQL, Python, Unix, PHP, R and Java –
    which they use to modify or develop custom analytical solutions.
  • Data scientists often work in a team setting, with managers, IT administrators, programmers, statisticians,
    graphic designers, and experts in the company’s products or services.



Data Scientist Salary

  • Mean annual salary for data scientists in North America: $89,000
Data Scientist Salary $89,000


Salaries for data scientists and related positions:

  • Business Analyst: $78,000
  • Business Intelligence Analyst: $84,000
  • SAS Data Analyst: $84,000
  • IBM Data Analyst: $84,000
  • Data Scientist: $89,000
  • Data Mining Engineer: $93,000
  • Machine Learning Engineer: $94,000
  • Big Data Scientist: $97,000
  • Data Architect: $107,000
  • Business Intelligence Architect: $110,000
  • Enterprise Data Architect: $110,000
  • Big Data Architect: $111,000
  • Hadoop Engineer: $112,000
  • Data Warehouse Architect: $113,000
  • Senior Data Scientist: $130,000
  • Senior Big Data Analyst: $138,000

The business intelligence & analytics field has practically unlimited earning potential. Highly talented, educated and experienced big data scientists can earn well over $250,000 per year with salary plus incentives.

The hourly salary range for data scientist contract positions is $30-$85, dependent upon skills and project requirements.




Data Scientist Education Requirements

The education requirements for data scientists are among the steepest of all IT occupations. Approximately 40% of data scientist positions require an advanced degree, such as a Master’s, MBA or PhD. Others companies will accept data scientists with undergraduate diplomas in an analytical concentration, such as Computer Science, Math & Statistics, Management Information Systems, Economics, Engineering and Hard Sciences.

Schools also offer career-focused courses, degrees and certificates in analytical disciplines like database management, predictive analytics, business intelligence, big data analysis and data mining, all of which provide a solid base for a data scientist career. Targeted training programs like these also present a great way for current business and IT professionals to learn the skills required to break into this red-hot field.

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