It takes just three months for a software engineer to become a data scientist. Find out how

  • The demand for data scientists has gone up significantly as India embraces digitisation.
  • According to Ashish Malhotra, director at bitgrit Japan, data analytics is a subset of data science.
  • Mathematics and analytical bent of mind are the key skills that form the core of a data science career.
The demand for data scientists has gone up significantly as India embraces digitisation. This new coveted job role however, is not limited to data analytics only.

In an interview with Business Insider, Ashish Malhotra, director at bitgrit Japan — a global data science community — said that data analytics is just a single subset of data science.

“Data is sentiments, behaviour and patterns. And data science is a predictive analysis to identify outcomes from raw data. If we apply predictions, the pattern will change,” he said.

Data science is a broad field with applications across industries and academia. It is a blend of mathematics, statistical analysis and artificial intelligence (AI).

The experts in the field, called data scientists adopt techniques and tools to draw insights and derive solutions for real-time problems. This includes data mining, statistical modeling, pattern recognition and data visualization.

Data analytics, on the other hand, focuses on processing the data — which includes extraction, cleaning and moving the data to create datasets and present the data. “Where there is data, you need statistics,” Malhotra said.

Key skills to become a data scientist

According to him, mathematics and analytical bent of mind are the key skills that are core to a data science career. Overall, data science includes software development and implementation of coding languages, and statistical evaluation of data.

Python and R, SQL (Structured Query Language) are the top programming languages required to become a data scientist, according to Deepak Mahtani, community manager in Data Science.

In addition to this, cloud technologies like Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud are necessary while working with data.

Transitioning from software engineering to a data science career

Making the change into a data science is not tough for a software engineer. Malhotra says that software engineers can be trained in data science within three months -- due to their knowledge of programming languages.

“If they know coding, adapting to the data science libraries such as SAS, MATLAB and Hadoop is pretty easy. Most important is analytical skills to make inferences from the data,” he said.

An emerging opportunity

While emerging technologies are being used to reduce human task, they still require manual intervention for efficiency.

The more India automates, more will it need experts who can facilitate it. As per LinkedIn, India is estimated to have less than 10% of data scientists available globally — which explains the rise in demand. As of now, nearly 50,000 jobs in data and analytics are lying vacant in the country, shows a survey done by Analytics Vidhya and ed-tech platform Great Learnings.

“AI & ML tools are being used across the lifecycle of workflows and projects across organisations. Given that, companies need to hire employees who drive business value from their data and analytics capabilities, Neeti Sharma, Senior VP, Teamlease Services told Business Insider.

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