Sometimes our careers will hit a dead end. We want to have more responsibility, earn more money, make a difference, but we don’t always have the means to do these things.
One effective and fail-safe way to get the career gears grinding once again is through data science.
Why concern yourself with data science…?
Because everything, every transaction you make, every product you use, will soon be driven by data. It’s highly likely that in a few years from now most professionals will be expected to have a degree of data literacy. For this reason, understanding data’s principles and how they can help businesses will at the very least aid in future-proofing your career.
Data skills are valuable. Here are just three ways that these sought-after skills can bolster our careers:
1# Data science shows us where to improve:
All commercial companies want someone who can help them to stay competitive and improve their bottom line. Much of this work boils down to understanding the company’s data. With the right analytics software, an institution’s historical data will highlight strengths and weaknesses, and will also offer evidence-based predictions to improve business operations. Learn data science, then, and you can quickly become a valuable asset to your company not only by identifying areas for improvement but also by underscoring the steps that will result in the greatest gains.
2# Data science encourages us to be better communicators:
You might have an impression of a data scientist as someone who sits in the company basement and number crunches all day. But the most skilled data scientists are those who are also effective communicators. What use, after all, are findings unless they can be explained to stakeholders and used as solutions to company problems? As the bridge between the company’s database and the decision makers for your project, the onus is on us to convey a story from the information we have to explain where changes can be made. This is why, for many data science courses, communication and presentation skills are also included.
3# Data science teaches us to think logically:
All too often, business decisions are made in absence of the facts. Data science teaches us to look for evidence-based solutions through the information that we have gathered, and it places little value on gut instinct. Through these units of information, we can build a complete picture of a company, and by looking only at the facts we can remove human bias to develop a much more considered, objective pathway for the company’s future.
A word of encouragement…
Don’t be put off by the severe name: learning data science is much easier than becoming proficient in many other scientific disciplines. You do not need an encyclopaedic knowledge of data science to master its basic principles. What you really need is an ability to dream up pertinent questions about business operations, in order to ask it of your company’s data. This is why current employees who are also data literate can be more effective than data scientists brought in to complete a single project: because these employees already understand where the company is taking great strides and where it needs improvement.
Becoming skilled in data doesn’t have to mean taking a completely different career path (unless you want it to!) Any employee, from administrator to manager, can apply their data skills to their current positions, leveraging their experience to facilitate their company’s operations.
You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home to pick up the discipline. Data scientists are vocal online, and they like to share. The materials that you need to learn the basic principles of data can easily be found on course sites such as Udemy and Coursera, as well as in print.
Once you have learned the basics and feel confident, ask your line manager if you can work on solving a company problem during less busy periods. You are likely to be rewarded for your efforts.
Written by: Kirill Eremenko
Kirill Eremenko is the founder of the data science academy SuperDataScience and the author of new book Confident Data Skills, published by Kogan Page, priced £14.99. The book will help you master the fundamentals of working with data and supercharge your career.