21st century's 'sexiest' job

Read time 1min 30sec

Becoming a data scientist is the "sexiest" profession of the 21st century.

So said David Logan, principal consultant at the PBT Group, yesterday during the ITWeb BI Summit 2014 at the Forum, Bryanston.

Logan was citing a Harvard Business Review assertion that the data scientist is the sexiest job of the century.

According to Logan, a data scientist is someone who can communicate meaningful stories from data, regardless of data size or complexity.

"During the Y2K, one could get any budget they wanted, as long as they had asked for something to do with the Y2K; and today the same is happening with data scientists," he said.

To Logan, data science is the new phenomenon, as organisations seek to gain insights into their customers' behaviour.

He pointed out that the emergence of big data has also seen the role of the data scientist gaining prominence.

Logan believes that the data scientist's main responsibility is the conceptual understanding of everything taking place in the database.

Data visualisation is one of the many attributes that a data scientist possesses, he revealed. He is of the view that effective data visualisation is part science, part art.

It takes an analytical approach to condense large datasets into content suitable for rich visualisation, and then it takes a creative approach to map to a model which conveys the story well, for the reader to understand, he said.

"It is the data scientist's role to work out which picture represents the best story," he concluded.

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