Initially, as we entered the era of big data, we were faced with the challenge of data storage. Once that was taken care of, the focus shifted to processing this data. This is where data science steps in.
What is data science?
Data science is an amalgamation of data analytics, software engineering, data engineering, machine learning, analysis, business analytics and more. It includes Big Data which comprises retrieval, collection, ingestion, and transformation of large amounts of data.
So what does data science do? Data science is responsible for giving form to big data, analyzing patterns and advising decision-makers to bring in the changes that effectively add to business growth.
Why do we need data science?
- Traditionally, data was mostly structured and small in size. Today, most of the data is unstructured or semi-structured. By 2020, it is estimated that more than 80% of data will be unstructured. Different sources like financial logs, text files, multimedia forms, sensors, and instruments generate this data. Simple business intelligence tools are not capable of processing this huge volume. This is why more complex and advanced analytical tools and algorithms are needed for processing, analyzing and drawing meaningful insights out of it. Only data science can help achieve this.
- A business needs to know the precise requirements of its customers. Data science can generate this information from existing data like the customer’s past browsing history, purchase history, age, and income. It trains models more effectively and helps recommend products for customers with more precision.
- Data science can be used in predictive analytics. If we take the example of weather forecasting. Models can be built from data collected from ships, aircraft, radars, satellites. These models will not only forecast the weather but also help in predicting the occurrence of any natural calamities. It will help to take appropriate measures beforehand and save precious lives. A data scientist does the exploratory analysis to discover insights from data and uses various advanced machine learning algorithms to identify the occurrence of a particular event in the future. A data scientist looks at data from many angles.
In a world of increasing dependence on data and its processing, it has become essential for everyone to have a basic understanding of data science. Whether it is for one’s career or one’s business/organization data science is here to stay.
Data Science courses
A data science course comprises several modules like Python, R, Linear Algebra, Statistics, Machine Learning Algorithms, etc. The best data science courses in India are offered by IIT (Delhi), IIT (Kharagpur), IIM (Bangalore), IIT (Bangalore), etc. It is advisable to brush up basic mathematics as it would be a big help during the course.
For working professionals, online data science courses are advised. The best online courses are provided by XLRI Jamshedpur, SPJIMR, Harvard, MIT, and Microsoft. Other options are courses offered by Amity University (Noida), Institute of Management Technology Online, Edwiser, Brainstation.
Data science is the answer to artificial intelligence which is the future. Getting to know the basics of data science would be a good option.