The wonderful world of data science


The world is evolving at an unprecedented pace. The career options that were top-ranked during the 1990s are becoming obsolete. New avenues in professional studies are emerging that was considered impossibility a decade ago. One such career option revolves around data science. Ever since our world was introduced to the Internet, data was being developed, managed, distributed, and analyzed in one form or the other. Today, gadgets and applications govern our lives. Whether we use them for personal or professional use, they are providing researchers and scientists with important data.
Gone are the days when the degrees of bachelors in business administration and master’s in business administration were considered the top educational priorities. The rise of data in all occupations has brought to fore the importance of this field of study. It has now become an important degree course in Pakistan.
Data scientists are in actuality explorers of data. They try to figure out trends and patterns by studying data. They use their technical, analytical, cognitive, and communication skills to extract meaning from the data. In a broader context, a data scientist needs to be well versed in mathematics, computer science, and statistics. Not only these fields are interconnected, but they also give the data scientist a holistic view of the data they study.
For organizations, such as fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company, a data scientist can see the trend of how much of the hair care product was sold during a specific period. This data shows the seasons in which the sales of a specific product were the highest or the lowest. Data scientists also study the trend of a product or a service’s purchase based on the customer’s details. This includes the demographic, psychographic, and behavioral analysis of the population that makes the purchase. Therefore, data analysts use social science and technology to develop and study trends and patterns. This helps organizations forecast their sales and remain ahead of the competition.
The job of a data scientist is to look at the unstructured data coming in from various sources including surveys, social media, applications, internet browsing, and research companies among others. They find patterns to understand the causes and effects of certain actions followed by a specific set of a population. In today’s world backed by digital media and social media, data science is a field of study that has much scope. The applications we use on our smartphones also save data that show patterns. Data scientists can gauge our thoughts, behavior, and action to predict our behavior.
A data scientist needs to work with large excel sheets having multiple sheets of data. If someone wants to become a data scientist then studying numbers and carving out the meaning from it must be their passion. They must know the basics of statistics and mathematics from inside out. Along with this, a sound educational background and experience from the field of computer science is necessary.
Several universities across Pakistan are offering degrees in data science. Students pursuing such a degree would need to complete their BS in Data Science. While doing so, they must comprehend the technicalities and the intricacies they would encounter once they become a data scientist. The students must choose a specialization. These include but are not limited to Data Science, Data Analytics, Business Analytics, Information Systems, or Business Intelligence. Completion of the degree along with doing a job in the field of study will propel students to pursue an MBA in this field.
The imperative skills one must possess to succeed in this field include computer programming, data visualization and reporting, risk analysis, statistical analysis, communication, software engineering, data mining, research among others.
The fields of study related to applied science, life science, natural science, and social science are equally important. However, data science is a field that is now a part of all professions. Organizations need people who can explore, study, organize, analyze, interpret, and present data. This will assist organizations to create strategies and learn from their actions. It will facilitate to understand the data to create meaning out of the actions organizations do and the decisions they make.