Is Programming knowledge required to pursue a career in Data Science?
The term Data Science has gained quite a popularity in the last few years. A lot of people working in IT firms and businesses have shown a desire to shift their careers in this emerging field. Even people with 15 to 20 years of industry experience want to take up Data Science as a career option. Well, the fact is the domain has become most popular lately. Let’s take a look at what makes them shift their career in this domain. But before let’s have a look at the skills that are required to be a Data Scientist.
Here are some key skills that one needs to possess for a successful career in the field of Data Science.
A day-to-day role of an ideal data scientist is to cordially work with the technical and the non-technical team. A data scientist is a bridge between the technical and non-technical terms. Thus, Data Science requires a strong and deep knowledge of the domain as not only understand the statements of the clients but also understand the technical feasibility of the problem with the technical department. For instance, if a model has to develop to detect cancer then it is crucial to know the correlation of the features with the target variable. It will help using only the most important features to detect the same thereby increasing the accuracy.
Cleaning the data and getting insights from it alone won’t serve the purpose. The insights will have a purpose only if the business problem has been identified and understood carefully. Business awareness is closely related to domain knowledge. In several cases, a person with high domain knowledge will be a better choice for the company than a highly proficient technical engineer. Hence a business will encourage a data scientist to be creative in analyzing the data better and make quick and effective business decisions.
An ideal Data Scientist must understand the technical terms while handling a project. As a Data Scientist, it is necessary to have excellent communication skills to explain the results in technical progress to the team and layman language to the client at any point of the project. Data Storytelling is more important than obtaining data from somewhere. There can be a lot of mind-blowing trends analysed in the dataset if the storytelling is not done in the right manner.
Data science projects are usually conducted by a team and every single person in that team will be working on different parts of the project as assigned by the team lead. Every single member right from Data Analyst to a machine learning engineer needs to work together as a team. Data Science projects require a lot of concentration and creativity and only a collaborative team would be able to perform and will deliver brainstorming results out of the data.
Any role in the field of Data Science requires strong command over the mathematical concepts. Probability and statistics are an integral part of Data Analysis and Machine Learning. It is to be noted that a Data Scientist will spend 10% of his time solving mathematical equations while working on a particular project. Since all the algorithms are based on mathematics, knowing mathematics concepts is usually to understand the various algorithms that would be implemented to solve business problems. Although most of the Machine learning algorithms can be applied without having a strong mathematical foundation but having knowledge will help in understanding the nature of the model and improving its efficiency. So mathematics is used at some point in the Data science project.
Mostly data science jobs require knowledge of programming languages. All the technical work is carried out right from data cleaning, data analysis, and implementation of the appropriate Machine learning algorithms is carried out through programming language (Python or R). Along with this, having a general knowledge of databases such as SQL can be very handy. Having a basic knowledge of basic-oriented programming will reduce the Data Science Curve. Programming is a vital skill but one need not necessarily have a strong knowledge of programming.
Do I have to be a Master of All major domain Programs?
Well answer to that question is a big “No”. Data Science is not just about having technical knowledge. In our opinion, Data Science is a field for everyone right from an app developer to an entrepreneur. Even those who don’t want to learn programming can sharpen their business or mathematical understanding and be part of this domain. At the end of the day, a sense of commitment and a positive attitude is required to achieve anything in life!