What kind of person does well in data science?

June 25, 2018

Have you every wondered if you are really suited to data science? I have worked with many data scientists over the years. Some were good, others were a bit meh. I have complied a list of attributes that I believe the 'good' data scientists possessed. 

 

Continuous learner

Data science is an ever changing field with new technologies and techniques every time you turn around. The only way you can possibly keep up is to always be learning. But there is no need to learn everything, you learn what you need to do your job in the most efficient manner and then learn what you will need for the next position that you want.

 

You can try to learn “all the things” but you will probably fail as "all the things" are forever changing. You can go crazy!

 

Passionate, not necessarily brilliant

I am uncredentialed, I don’t have a PhD but I am passionate as anything about data science. I have put in huge amounts of work in data science and programming over the last 10 years because I absolutely love it.

 

If you love what you do you can mix it with brilliant, credentialed people. Some of the best software developers I know never went to university, taught themselves and love it.

 

Commercial focus

The whole point of data science is to help the organisation to achieve its strategic goals through the use of its internal data assets. You need to understand business.

 

Doing the dirty work

Possessing basic data manipulation skills.  It is important to be across the entire process from raw data to model development. 

 

Try and fail

Have a willingness to try (and fail). What success I have had in the field has come from a willingness to try new things, stuff I was really uncomfortable with, even things clearly outside my role like web development.

 

 

Are you a good data scientist or just meh?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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