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Data Scientist Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Data Scientist, or Data Analyst, analyses raw data and turns it into meaningful information that companies can use to improve their business processes. Their primary duties include analysing large data sets, creating algorithms that manage and organise information and writing applications that translate data and identify patterns.

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Data Scientist duties and responsibilities

A Data Scientist uses a range of coding practices to build scalable data products. Some of their duties and responsibilities include:

  • Generating large databases from various sources of structured and unstructured data
  • Analysing data and generating statistical information to identify trends and patterns
  • Understanding the phases of product delivery and expert analyses across product life cycles, running the analysis for each stage and contributing to decision making
  • Using a range of programming languages to transform big data into data sets
  • Translating technical data to simple language and giving recommendations and conclusions to stakeholders
  • Developing interactive dashboards that combine visuals with real-time data
  • Building scalable machine learning pipelines and using feature engineering and optimisation methods to improve data set performance
  • Working with Technologists to integrate and separate data feeds to map, produce, transform and test new scalable data sets
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Data Scientist Job Description Examples:

What does a Data Scientist do?

Data Scientists interpret large amounts of unorganised, raw data. They analyse and synthesise data into results and findings that are more easily understood. Data Scientists must be good at machine learning so that they can convert data into various forms and develop algorithms to solve problems. They must be proficient in a variety of computer programming languages and be capable of conducting advanced statistical analysis. They also communicate their findings to a company’s management in order to help them solve business problems or make informed business decisions.

Data Scientist skills and qualifications

A successful Data Scientist candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include:

  • Experience in data visualisation and presenting data in graph or pictorial format
  • Proficiency in designing algorithms and using statistical and problem structuring methods
  • Ability to clean and validate data to ensure uniformity and accuracy
  • Ability to use linear and non-linear regression, logistic regression, models and classification techniques for data analysis, clustering, dimensionality reduction, k-NN and pipeline
  • Proficiency in mathematical computing
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Proficiency in various programming languages such as Java, C, Python, R along with strong coding skills

Data Scientist experience requirements

Data Scientist must have several years of experience using a variety of data analysis, data mining methods and data tools. They should also have years of experience using and developing algorithms, developing and implementing models and creating and running simulations. Some companies prefer candidates with experience in a particular field, such as database management, research, machine learning or artificial intelligence.

Data Scientist education and training requirements

Data Scientist must have at least a master’s degree in data science, data analytics, business analytics or big data, though most companies prefer candidates who have a doctoral degree. Some employers accept candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree in statistics, information technology, computer engineering, computer science or applied mathematics.

Some large companies offer data science graduate training programmes, which usually take around two years to complete. Some programmes accept graduates from any discipline. Others specify the degree subjects they will accept. Other companies also require candidates to obtain industry-recognised certifications, such as the Institute for Direct and Digital Marketing certification and the Chartered Institute of Marketing certification.

Data Scientist salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of a Data Scientist in the United Kingdom is £53,963 per year. This figure varies depending on factors such as, experience, geographical location and company.

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Data Scientist job description FAQs

What is the difference between a Data Scientist and a Data Analyst?

A Data Analyst figures out what happens to make certain outcomes occur, for instance, why sales dropped. They also create dashboards to support the key performance indicators (KPIs) of the company. A Data Scientist works with what will, or what could happen. To determine answers, they use data modelling techniques and big data frameworks.

How can you make your Data Scientist job description stand out?

Open with an attention-catching summary and include what makes your company unique. State the exact location of the job, so it appears higher in a job search. Outline core responsibilities using bullet points and give information on how the position fits into the company and how data mining is used.

What are the different types of Data Scientists?

There are many different types of Data Scientists. These include Reporting and ETL Analysts, who focus on extracting data and generating reports or dashboards, Data Science Generalists, who focus on using statistical and machine learning techniques to create models, solve business problems and generate insights and Machine Learning Research Data Scientists, who focus on applying machine learning techniques to develop and implement models, which an emphasis on research and development. Other types of Data Scientists include Machine Learning Software Engineers or Data Science Specialists.

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