Data Science: The New Art
In this digital world of data, the Internet of Things, and more, there is one term which seems to come up everywhere: Data Science.
Data Science has taken on a life of its own, bringing immense value to organizations when utilized correctly - but what does it mean? And how should organizations embrace it? I recently asked an industry thought leader and expert on this topic, Marie Clark of Ambient Intelligence, to help define and shed light on this curious world.
A simple internet search of the term Data Science defines it as: “an interdisciplinary field about scientific methods, processes, and systems to extract knowledge or insights from data in various forms, either structured or unstructured, similar to data mining.” That is a mouthful, but can be broken down into simplicity: it is the ability and methods to extract and gain valuable information and insight from data. Within Data Science comes the position we have heard before: Data Scientist. According to Marie, the reality is, Data Science is becoming a discipline, and not just an individual. She says that, just like there are both generalists and specialists in the world of medicine, within the world of Data Science there are different disciplines and skills that are necessary. This is a very good point when we think of the world of Data Science: there are multiple roles that play a part to make Data Science what it is.
In Data Science, organizations need to assess their strengths and weaknesses, finding the data science “generalists” and “specialists,” as Marie defines them. In an organization, there will be those who have a general data science knowledge and skill-set, being able to work through and do many different pieces of an analytical project. The Data Science specialists need to be recognized and utilized in their given strengths, such as machine learning, algorithm building, R or Python, etc.
When organizations recognize that Data Science is a discipline that spans multiple people, and not concentrated within one or two people, they will be better positioned to utilize this discipline successfully.
What does this have to do with the world of data literacy? Data Literacy encompasses Data Science. Throughout organizations, employees and individuals need to embrace data and their roles in this science, helping expand Data Science. Doing so will help companies and individuals progress and succeed in this data revolution.