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Types of Data Scientist

Last updated on Jul 04,2019 10.9K Views

In the recent year data science has become inextricable from day to day operations. Data science is employed in Products, Marketing, Engineering and sales to make crucial decisions. Sensational statements of ‘Data Scientist’ being the sexiest job has skyrocketed the popularity of this nerdy job title.

As a result we can see people flashing their job title and some striving to become one. Looking at their qualifications, education, experience, aptitude and attitude, it is obvious that they don’t all fall in to the same category. So why are they using the same job title irrespective of the differences??

This could be due to the fact that data scientists can be broadly classified in to two categories:

  • Product-focused data science.
  • Business Intelligence style of data science.

There are roughly 4 to 5 groups in each category.

In O’Reilly Strata’s report ‘Analyzing the Analyzers’, the data scientists are classified on the basis of product-focused data science as follows.

Product-focused Data Science

Different types of data scientist

  •  Data Researcher

The professionals in this category come from the academic world and have in-depth backgrounds in statistics or the physical or social sciences. This type of data scientist often holds a PhD but is weakly skilled in Machine learning, Programming or Business.

  • Data Developer

These guys tend to concentrate on technical issues that come with handling data. They are strong in programming and machine learning but weak in business and statistics skills.

  • Data Creatives

These are the guys who make something innovative out of mountains of data. They are strongly skilled in machine learning, Big Data, programming and other skills to handle massive data.

  • Data Business people

They represent the business side and are responsible for making vital business decisions through data analytics techniques.  They are an eclectic blend of business and technical proficiency.

Business Intelligence based Data Science

Different types of data scientist

  • Quantitative, exploratory Data Scientists

Quantitative, exploratory data scientists are inclined to have PhDs and use theory to comprehend behaviour. By combining theory and exploratory research, these data scientists improve products.

  • Operational Data Scientists

Operational data scientists frequently work in finance, sales or operations teams in an organization. His role is to analyse performance, responses and behavior of a process, to improve organization’s strategy and efficiency.

  •   Product Data Scientists

Product data scientists fit in to product management or engineering. Their job is to sift through logs and analysis tools, to understand the way users make use of a product and make use of that knowledge to fine tune the product.

  • Marketing Data Scientists

Marketing data scientists focuses on the user base, evaluate performance and work on improving efficiency, pretty much like the standard marketing guy.

  • Research Data Scientists

Research data scientists create insights from a data set. It’s rare for start-ups companies  to employ research scientists because the output isn’t tied to profits. But larger companies, think tanks and financial institutions do.

This classification shows that any bunch of people can be put in any one of the category. The right type of data scientist can be chosen based on the organization’s requirement

Before choosing the type of data scientist you want to become, consider the skills required or the skills you already posses to proceed in the appropriate direction.

So who are you gonna be?? A programmer, a statistician, a marketer, a business lead or a jack of all trades??

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Types of Data Scientist