Tag Archives: machine learning

The Skills and Tools Every Data Scientist Must Master

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Photo by WOC in Tech.

“Data scientist” is one of today’s hottest jobs.

In fact, Glassdoor calls it the best job of 2017, with a median base salary of $110,000. This fact shouldn’t be big news. In 2011, McKinsey predicted there would be a shortage of 1.5 million managers and analysts “with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.” Today, there are more than 38,000 data scientist positions listed on Glassdoor.com.

It makes perfect sense that this job is both new and popular, since every move you make online is actively creating data somewhere for something. Someone has to make sense of that data and discover trends in the data to see if the data is useful. That is the job of the data scientist. But how does the data scientist go about the job? Here are the three skills and three tools that every data scientist should master.

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What Is Machine Learning?

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As a fan of the show Mad Men and its wonderful anachronisms, I had a good chuckle over Sterling Cooper & Partners’ season 6 acquisition of the IBM System 360. Without spoiling much for anyone who hasn’t seen it, the firm attempts to step up its data research game by bringing in a computer mainframe so mammoth it takes over the entire employee lounge, and seems so alien and imposing that one staffer worries it might actually be reading his thoughts.

The introduction of the IBM 360 50 years ago was actually revolutionary, and it helped pave the way for the modern computing systems we use today. And I’m sure that generations of ad men believed it was an effective tool for winning accounts and selling more soap. But in terms of capabilities, it probably did less than a first-generation iPod shuffle.

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