Do you need a data scientist?

Posted to News  |  Nathan Yau

Cathy O’Neil on when there’s enough data to justify a data scientist in the workplace:

Too much to fit on an Excel spreadsheet. And it’s not just how much, it’s really about how high quality the data is; the best is for it to be clean and for it to not be public, or at least not generally used for the purpose that your business uses it for.

Even data that does fit in Excel can be examined more closely. Then again, if you only have that much data, your data scientist will get bored quickly.

[VentureBeat]

1 Comment

  • Andy Holaday November 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I do not disagree with the article but I think it’s worth mentioning Actuaries have been doing this kind of work for decades, albeit in a somewhat specialized industry (insurance). What I like about the message is you do not have to be in the business of insurance to appreciate the need for people with strong skills working with data, who require huge quantities of data, special tools and programming expertise to bring value to an organization. Often, the skills blur lines with traditional IT work. I think sometimes that line is drawn too sharply, which can lead to expectations that IT can fill the “data scientist” roles. In practice I think it is best to separate these areas organizationally, but align them functionally.

Favorites

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2011

I almost didn’t make a best-of list this year, but as I clicked through the year’s post, it was hard …

Top Brewery Road Trip, Routed Algorithmically

There are a lot of great craft breweries in the United States, but there is only so much time. This is the computed best way to get to the top rated breweries and how to maximize the beer tasting experience. Every journey begins with a single sip.

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.

Famous Movie Quotes as Charts

In celebration of their 100-year anniversary, the American Film Institute selected the 100 most memorable quotes from American cinema, and …