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What is a Data Scientist?

What does a data scientist do?

Do you love math or just love to work with numbers? Are you fascinated by data or statistics and what it can tell you? Then a career in data science might be for you!

Meet Cal Al-Dhubaib.  He’s a data scientist at Digital C in Cleveland.  Cal says the U.S. expects a half-million data science jobs to open up in the next five years. A recent article in Forbes called data science the “Century’s Hottest Career.”  

A day-in-the-life of a data scientist

There is so much data, so much information out there. A data scientist can analyze all those numbers to find meaning or value which can help businesses and organizations run more effectively.  Cal says it like a cross between engineering and business.  He uses math, statistics, and visualization to tell stories from the data.  Cal says a data scientist can help businesses solve real problems like improving efficiency, finding more customers, making cost of care more effective and much more.

How a data scientist can help an organization

Cal recently wrapped up an 8-week “boot camp” teaching non-profit professionals how to use data skills in their workplace. For example, one group that works with children in bad family situations was using the data to determine the best point at which a child can be reunited with a family.  Another group is looking at the data to see the impact of race, ethnicity and poverty level on the cost of dental and diabetes care.

What degree and skills do you need to be a data scientist?

Cal says there are a lot of different paths that can lead to a career in data science.  He says right now many data scientists have come from fields such as mathematics, programming or computer science. But since data science is one of the fastest growing careers out there, many schools are now starting to offer the degree.  Cal got his degree at Case Western Reserve University.  

“The biggest skill that I would recommend cultivating is always ask questions.  Always try to understand “why” and look at a problem from different angles,” says Cal.

What resources are available for those interested in data science?

To learn more about Digital C visit – http://www.digitalc.org/


Cal has a Bachelor of Science in Data Science from Case Western Reserve University.

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