What is a data scientist?

If I am going to create a blog about becoming a data scientist, I must at least provide some type of definition.  One of the best definitions I have read is by Hilary Mason, Chief Scientist at Bit.ly,

A data scientist is someone who can obtain, scrub, explore, model and interpret data, blending hacking, statistics, and machine learning.

This definition is short and simple, but there are many more definitions out there.  In fact CITO Research, a site for CIOs and CTOs, set out to define what a data scientist is.  They interviewed six leaders in the data science community, and posted all of the interviews online.  The interviews produced varied results, but focused on some main themes of what a data scientist should know.

After reading Hilary’s definition, the CITO Research interview’s, a great post at Quora, and numerous other articles, I created a list of data science skills:

  • Machine Learning
  • Statistics
  • Story Telling (Communication)
  • Big Data
  • Algorithms
  • Curiosity

I am sure this list will change and evolve over time, but that is where I am going to focus for now.  If you have anything to add to the list, please leave a comment.  If you are interested in gaining some data science skills, please follow along and let’s learn together.

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