8/02/2013

Are You a Data Scientist?

I started out doing reports in 1993 for Sears Credit.  Using Lotus 1-2-3, I accumulated the pieces of papers from each loan analyst and counted the approvals and declines and entered on the spreadsheet, which had formulas to determine Summary info, to be given to top management.

I then did the same thing, in 1995, at the Credit Center for NationsBank, manually counting Approvals and Declines entering into Excel.  Then worked with Crystal Reports for Mortgage data in Oracle and created the Life of Loan report.

And over time I've worked with Crystal Reports, Actuate, JReport and SSRS to display data to Management.

So there's been lots of Report Writing over the years.  Except I also did ETL, moving data around, applying business logic.  And one day I realized I was a Business Intelligence developer.

And then I worked with more complex data, mashing desperate data sets, used Fuzzy Logic, did complex ETL across servers and databases, to determine ROI and create Dashboards, Scorecards and KPS.  And I met with Business Users to gather specs and Business logic and QA my work.

So do I self appointment my title to Data Scientist?

Well, I didn't use Big Data in Production environment, and I don't have a PhD, and I'm not a Statistician or Mathematician, and I didn't do any Predictive Analysis.

So I believe the line between Data Analyst and Data Scientist is blurred.  Many of the skills fall into both buckets.  So where does one draw the line.

Does a Data Scientist demand a high salary, you betcha.

Do Business Intelligence people always get respect and notoriety in the Business world, not always, sometimes they are the scapegoats.

Are Report Writers considered Junior Level?  Definitely not.  Reporting is a skill and an art and understanding the data requires much analysis, logic and ability to write SQL and format reports.

There's a blending of skills that weave the world of Data. 

However, the core skills are knowledge of Data, Business Rules, Programming, Logic, Specification gathering, ETL, Analytics, Visualization, Math, Stats, QA and ability to communicate with Users and Management.

And walk on water...

Either way you slice it, Data is where it's at!

So are you a Data Scientist?  Just depends on your definition.

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