What do data scientists do, and why are they so valuable?

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    Much of what we do on a day-to-day basis is, believe it or not, powered by data. From the transactions made when stepping into the bank to analyses of traffic congestion affecting you on the drive home from work, data science is making life easier, more efficient and better understood on a daily basis. The people who are responsible for analyzing the data are the data scientists – and this article will delve a little more closely into what their jobs look like.

    The work of a data scientist

    No two days are the same in the life of a data scientist – though there are some common themes. The average week is likely to include tasks such as modeling, which involves making data-informed predictions about potential future outcomes for organizations. It’s also common for a data scientist to take a mathematical focus and apply formulae and algebra to sets of numerical data to uncover patterns and find solutions to problems on a statistical, aggregate level.

    The value of their work

    In our always-on society, it can be difficult to see what’s happening beyond the ends of our own noses. With competing pressures of work, family life and even entertainment, there’s little time left in the day to acknowledge the hidden heroes who make the systems that we use work so well. Data scientists are a prime example: so few people know what they do, but their work affects us all each day.

    However, it’s becoming increasingly clear that colleges and universities, including Kettering, are placing value on providing these skills to the next generation of workers. The data science online degree on offer from the Michigan-based institution covers topics such as data science concept communication and solution-focused data science practices. When applied to vital fields such as pharmaceuticals or traffic safety, these skills can be life-saving.

    Even when they’re applied to more mundane fields such as food distribution or consumer goods, they offer the chance to make everyone’s lives more organized. With data science on hand, providers and operators can know in pinpointed detail what products and services we value the most – and act on that to improve our customer and user experiences. In an age when companies and institutions are gathering so much data about us, data scientists are there to work out how this vast collection of information can be boiled down into actionable insights.

    Ultimately, it’s pretty clear: while data scientists are often operating behind the scenes and are rarely noticed or acknowledged by those who benefit from their expertise, they’re the sort of people who hold the key to an easier, healthier and more efficient world. Whether they’re poring over healthcare information in order to inform vaccine rollouts or working out what the most effective way is for you to use your favorite app, data scientists have an important role to play when it comes to making the world a better place.

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