The Role of a Data Scientist and why this World needs them.

What a typical data scientist’s day looks like. Source: Reference Section[1]

The role of a chief data scientist in today’s world comes with great power and responsibility, most often than not, this person is just a figurehead at the table whose sole working is to better execute major data solutions. This position albeit important, is now in dearth with relevance to the growing aspects of data analytics in businesses around the world thus leading to a scarcity in senior data scientists across many industries.

Cities today operate heavily with big data analytics and this way has inadvertently transformed the way businesses in and around the cities itself operate. In the marketing and sales aspect of these businesses, more companies that earlier had no use of or reliability on technology as an integral part of their system, has now incorporated and inculcated the idea of data analysis into their processes thus benifiting them immensely.

James Parsons, chief executive of digital workforce and consultancy Arrows Group talks about Data and its uses with people and these are a few things he had to say about it:

A chief data scientist will be the enabler for next-generation innovations such as machine-learning algorithms, autonomous product development and accurate financial forecasting”

“The speed with which they are able to achieve innovation is of great importance and an increased capability to analyze the data streams flooding into a business is key to this”

“Data scientists are the rocket scientists of the digital world and the role of the chief data scientist (CDS) is emerging as the influence of data spreads horizontally across business functions”

Reference section — [1]

Taking in some aspects from Anthony Townsend’s - Making sense of the new urban science, one can associate how Urban Science even though being a fairly new “science” but an old practice in many ways, can be moderated to change over time just as how Business Intelligence has evolved over the years.

Business Intelligence is a new emerging field in data science itself that has also transformed businesses and they way they are conducted. This ideology is based on the simple premise of dumping out huge amounts of information from various data sources to create major inpacts in industries all across the spectrum. Another strong-point here is the ability to analyze this data dumped out in real-time and with regards to real-time scenarios, this ability helps numerous businesses make on the spot and nearly perfect decisions on time and sometimes even ahead of time (The Oilfield is the perfect example of this application being used — Directional Drilling). This superpower to change at the nick of time helps these businesses meet their customers’ requirements of innovation, strategy and more importantly decisions being well informed.

The need to inculcate this ideology into working processes, a huge number of small and big businesses are relying on the use of data and the benifits of its analytics in this highly dynamic and technologically driven environment, to be of essential value with several crucial developments.[2]

In the retail industry for example, businesses have the ability to analyze real-time data through analytics accessible to their staff and warehouses as they use statistics to improve customer experience and offer customized online and offline services. Each of the algorithms also uniquely influence online content including adverts, discounts, products, videos, images, and also the kinds of influencers to target for specific promotions. All these strategic offerings will in turn help drive sales for retail companies.”

Reference section — [2]

Geographically, areas like North America, Europe, The Middle-East, Latin America and Asia have shown significant increase in the market for business intelligence. It can be thought of that in the next few years, business intelligence solutions and the skills required to manipulate it will be in high demand. So as well “Urban Science” and the science for “Smart Cities” will grow as time moves on, the question here is — Will we be ready to grow along with it ? Will we have the resources to do so ?

Who does not want to predict what you do ? It is like reading your mind, that is a superhero power right there.

Big data right now is predicting things about your life almost every minute of your day, whether you’re aware of it or not.[3]

Amazon sees what you shop for and predicts with ease what you might need to shop for next? Netflix can predict what you might want to watch based on what you have already watched. Google predicts how you respond to a certain type of electronic mail. There are even dating sites that try desperately to perfect a way to predict who you might fall in love with.

These are just some of the predictions that are out there as we walk through one day of our lives. We do not notice these predictions anymore, we have gotten so used to it that it slips out of our minds that our actions and daily beliefs of free-will which we think we exercise are just basically well written algorithms and you, its test subject and output simultaneously.

A masterpiece depicting this aspect of technology — “Digital Master Planning : An Emerging Strategic Practice in Global Cities” by Dr. Anthony Townsend and Dr. Stephen Lorimer tells us about the many associative properties that can be applied to Big Data and predictions towards the everyday population. The “Smart-City” problems of today that can be helped and pushed toward a better “future” with data.

To be as blunt as possible, there are a few of those problems we face today that can be better in tomorrow’s world with the use of data and predictions using the analysis of that data:

  1. High School Dropouts
  2. Weather
  3. Cyber Attacks
  4. Health and Disease
  5. Police Misconduct

Reference section — [3]

Source — Reference Section [3]

In the end, when the dust settles, trust that you would want a Data Scientist on your side fighting for you and your future !! We might not decide your fate — but rest at ease, because we know, your fate is still your own!!