Emerging Role of the Data Scientist is Examined in New Research

A new survey of nearly 200 data managers and professionals, who are part of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), looks at the emerging role of the data scientist.  The survey was conducted by Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, Inc.

Data scientists are being cast as the visionaries who can aggregate data from internal enterprise data stores as well as outside sources to provide the forecasts and insight required to help lead their organizations into the future. The description of the data scientist role encompasses a range of skills and activities, ranging from analyzing information to gleaning a few precious gems of information from towering heaps of data. Up to a third of the respondents to the survey indicate that there is now, or soon will be, someone with the actual title of data scientist in their organization.

However, many of the managers and professionals, who will be tasked with the role of “data scientist” or are already performing such these activities with data, are not actually going to have the title of “data scientist” in their job descriptions, according to the survey report by Unisphere Research analyst Joe McKendrick.  These individuals, whose backgrounds include IT and programming, math and statistics, and a willingness to look at things differently, may already work within organizations, as database administrators, analysts, managers and consultants.  But all of these professionals engage in data scientist-style endeavors as they take raw data sets and find ways to extract valuable information for the business.

While data professionals spend most of their time managing and securing databases, many also expect to be concentrating on business intelligence and data modeling in the near future. In addition, most data managers and professionals indicate that they are directly involved in business consulting – providing advice and guidance to the business.  They are also actively working with the business and IT to develop data strategies and policies. Increasingly, as well, their jobs call for the ability to “tell a story” with the data in order to generate financial, market, and operational insights.

The survey report, Big Data Visionaries: 2013 Data Science Skills Survey, is now available on the IOUG website.