What is Data Science?
Data Science is an emerging discipline of study which makes use of mathematical algorithms, scientific methods, and procedural guidelines to extract relevant information and insights from large and complex structured and unprocessed data sets. The subject of data science is also intrinsically related to notions such as information science, machine learning, and big data. These disciplines are designed to address and exploit the power of large-scale data analysis, data mining, statistical techniques, scientific research, engineering applications, and business intelligence.
- Data Science in Statistics
- Data Science in Computer Science
- Data Science in Organizational Sector
- Data Science in Commercial Sector
- Limitations to Data Science
Data Science in Statistics & Computer Science
Data science can be defined as the application of statistics, computer science, programming languages, and other methodologies to solve problems. It is mostly applied to solve problems in financial industries such as marketing, customer service, e-commerce, healthcare, supply chain management, and other areas. Today, Data Science has become one of the most important fields that drives technology growth and globalization. As companies rely more on information for decision making, they are increasingly hiring data scientists and developing specialized technologies. Companies across all industries are trying to apply sophisticated technology and techniques to business intelligence (BI), or what many call “third party decision making”.
Data Science in Organizational Sector
Data science is now an established part of strategic planning and organizations around the world. The main areas of concentration of a data scientist include Natural Language Processing (NLP), Computer Networks, Knowledge Discovery (KDD), and Data Mining. NLP is the umbrella term for a number of disciplines that focus on the collection, organization, processing, storage, representation, and reasoning of data. NLP techniques can be used in a wide variety of contexts including training, business, and organizations. On a smaller scale, NLP can also be applied to programming language implementations and tools such as the language itself (as with ML DSLs).
Data Science in Commercial Sector
Data science trends across all of these topics have been on a steady rise over the past ten years. This is largely due to developments in the commercial sector, which has made it easier for businesses to acquire and utilize large volumes of data in a highly cost effective and efficient manner. While academic programs focused primarily on teaching and research, data analytics has provided businesses and other organizations with real-time insights that they can use in their daily operations. Academic programs focused on both NLP and data analytics. However, as demand for practical insights from big data grows, these programs have started to specialize more in one or the other.
Limitations to Data Science
Trends in the Data Science field typically follow two predictable patterns. In either case, this tendency is subject to extreme hype and exaggeration. When predicting market trends, business management specialists spend thousands of hours watching the data analytics programs run in the background. And because most of the hype comes from the sales team, the business analyst, or business manager will likely make unrealistic claims about future business results. However, if the hype does not originate from an industry insider or knowledgeable executive, it is most likely simply a marketing ploy.
In the early stages of big data science, AI was often considered to be an alternative to traditional data scientists who would primarily analyze the old data sets in laboratories. AI has since grown to be a major part of every traditional data science discipline. However, some areas of computer science have yet to fully embrace the use of AI. In particular, this holds true for those areas where traditional data science is still dominant.
As machine learning algorithms continue to improve and become more powerful, software programs are able to achieve impressive results. However, there are still limits to the effectiveness of these types of programs. Traditional computer science has provided many successful ways to classify, manipulate, and extract meaningful information from large amounts of unorganized data. In addition, traditional methods of data science, like supervised or unsupervised learning, rely heavily on the knowledge of the human system under study. This means that if one machine is incorrectly trained, all of the others will also be affected.
Fortunately, advances in machine learning algorithms and the ability of artificial intelligence to self-teach also bring with them some exciting opportunities for students who pursue scientific careers using academic programs at the graduate and doctoral levels. Currently, researchers are working on ways to create educational systems that will allow machines to learn how to distinguish between false and true information. Additionally, they are developing methods to allow computers to process data without depending on humans to always be present to supervise their work. In the future, it is likely that artificial intelligence will play a greater role in everyday scientific research. In order to meet this ever-growing need, graduate students in all disciplines should be investing their time in programming a variety of machines with various skills, including learning, decision making, decision analysis, and learning.