Written by: Manfred Berger
Since the Harvard Business Review chose data scientists as the sexiest job of the century, there have been fundamental changes to how organizations collect and use data. This has boosted the demand for data science skills, leading many universities to construct and offer data science courses to prospective students. In addition, data scientists are now occupying prime leadership roles in many different organizations across many business sectors as data’s link to improved business outcomes becomes more apparent. Indeed, data’s prominence profoundly impacts driving change in almost all aspects of our lives.
Data science professionals focus on influences and challenges in the industry, whereas academics and students take a broader approach to research data’s potential. As business and culture continue developing in the information era, skilled data experts are also playing a crucial role in the development of the technology which governs the data in our everyday lives.
What makes a data scientist?
Although data science was first discussed in the 1960s, it was not popularised as a field until 2007 – when the first specialized data science research center opened in Fudan, China. Since then, more young people have opted to study data science leading to many more experienced data scientists coming from diverse academic and technical backgrounds.
While many early data scientists accidentally ended up in their careers, the next generation will have been exposed to more relevant and career-specific experience before entering the workforce.
Looking to the future
Data becomes central to almost all human activity and development across industry, academia, and culture, so the future is bright for data scientists. There are now an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes (2,500,000,000,000,000,000) of data produced every day, and there are no signs that our reliance on these volumes is going to stop. With vast quantities of data now being produced, storing it is a new challenge. To unlock the possibilities of data, storage vendors are developing new hard disk drives (HDD) and flash memory products, which help cloud and hyperscale providers meet at-scale demand.
Although data science has developed rapidly as a field in recent decades, there is much more value to be gained from data and the vast amount of technologies supporting it. However, to capitalize on this potential, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) applications need to leverage a massive amount of data to extract valuable strategic insights. Thus, every bit must be effectively stored, transmitted, processed, and analyzed.
As data scientists in every industry look at AI/ML, scale is one of the essential storage elements in today’s business climate – with quantities growing at exponential rates. In addition, data center providers must also consider factors like energy use and sustainability to stay ahead of competitors and drive change.
As data is central to change in today’s world, companies will continue investing in their data science teams and technologies – enabling them to gain more insights and progress quickly.