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Big Data Spawns New Breed of 'data Scientist'

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data abstraction

Credit: Beacon Data Systems

A new breed of data scientists is in demand as a result of the rise of big data.

Government, universities, and industry are looking for people with a rare mix of expertise in statistics, technology, and business analysis who can extract useful knowledge from big data flows. "Those are people who are in very short supply in the private sector and the public sector,” says Gartner's Anne Lapkin.

She notes that data scientists are more likely to come from scientific research labs, such as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, than academic computer science programs. "They have people who they have trained to do nothing but look at the data, analyze the data, figure out different datasets, build new types of queries, and so forth," Lapkin says.

The financial sector also lured many of the best data scientists during the boom in big data analysis in financial markets in the 1980s. Although universities are starting to offer data science programs that teach the skill set for managing big data, it will likely be years before the supply of data scientists meets the demand.

"It's an entirely new skill set," Lapkin notes.

From Government Computer News
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