With the democratisation of media, more and more data is generated, shared and exchanged every second. Further, in order to stay closely connected with the customers and audiences, almost all companies across various industries have gone digital and online. This has enabled them to collect huge amounts of data with the help of which many business decisions can be made. The influx of data which is collected is mostly in an unstructured format, cannot be read by a layman. It requires professionals who can decode, and analyse it for the business. This is where skills mastered by data science professionals come into play.
A career in Data Science is one of the best careers to pursue in the present world. If Data Science is a career you have been looking to pursue, mastering these 6 skills will take you a long way in your field of work.
Data Science is all about programming. It is thus, important to know all the basic and essential programming languages and software in order to be able to understand and decode the collected data. Almost all of the programming languages and software help in serving pretty much the same purpose of extracting, filtering, reshaping, and analysing information from huge chunks of data. Some are also used for web development, application development, web scrapping, statistical programming, etc. Every aspiring data scientist must know the programming language and software which include SQL, Python, R Programming, Java, Julia, Scala, and MATLAB.
A strong tool to communicate with the rest of the teams in your company, data visualization is a skill you absolutely cannot do without. Visuals always have a greater impact on the mind than only plain texts. A data science professional must know how to effectively make use of various graphics like graphs, pie charts, histograms, bar charts, time series, heat maps, 3-D plots, etc to communicate the crucial data insights with the rest of the team. Data visualization, although not necessarily a part of the data scientist job description, helps professionals to present data in the simplest form.
Machine Learning/Deep Learning
Both being a part of Artificial Intelligence are being used by companies across the globe to study data and lessen the work burden for humans. Machine learning and deep learning (an extended branch of machine learning) simulate the human mind which can help greatly in studying and categorising large chunks of data. Data scientists build programs and develop data analytics algorithms that help in not just analysing data with the help of human intelligence simulation, but also predicting the future course of events by studying data patterns. Deep learning, a subset of Machine learning is used for speech and image recognition, NLP (Natural Language Processing) and robotics. It helps data science professionals to carve out a bright career path in defence, scientific research, electronics, and industrial automation among other fields.
Maths and Statistics
For any data science professional, having a strong foundation in mathematics and statistics is key. Data science involves analysing large amounts of data that need to be collected, analysed, calculated, interpreted, and further communicated to various stakeholders. Thus it becomes essential for an aspiring data science professional to have a sound knowledge of linear algebra, algorithms, calculus, statistics and probability.
The skill of cloud computing is becoming significant by the day, especially now during the pandemic with companies shifting their IT infrastructure to the cloud to suit the work-from-anywhere need. This makes it necessary for data science professionals to have sound knowledge in clouds like Linux, DevOps, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Java, Azure, and Docker.
Having technical skills is undoubtedly important, but the skill set is complete only if a data science professional also has the required business acumen. One must be fully aware of the business goals and objectives to be able to extract only that data or information relevant to the business out of the pile of data collected. This business acumen helps the entire organisation in making informed decisions, form various solutions and plan work accordingly.
If you are looking to apply for a Data Science course in India, institutes like the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Vellore Institute of Technology, NMIMS Mumbai, Amity University, Indian Institute of Technology Madras are some of the topmost institutes. Foreign universities like Purdue University, Harvard University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Illinois Institute of Technology, are also universities where you can apply. You can also look at online courses offered by UpGrad, Coursera, Great Learning, Edureka, and Simplilearn.