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A report from Japan: Puzzling situation of "Data Scientist" in Japanese market

One of motivations I write the English-version of my blog is reporting and sharing the latest topics of Japanese market in data science and related fields. In the latest post, I wrote about a puzzling situation of "Data Scientist" in Japanese market.

Although Google Trends shows a fever of "data scientist" in English still rises, the same one in Japanese market rapidly shrinks. I argued why such a situation arises in Japanese market recently.

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Comment by Takashi J. OZAKI on January 17, 2014 at 10:14pm

Hi Oleg, thank you for the comment. I also think your suggestion may be true in general, but it looks not true especially in Japan. In this country, almost no academic scientists serve as external experts to the corporate sector, so they're not interested in whether data scientists in business threaten their benefit.

Instead, academic scientists seem to dislike any kinds of publication or media articles given by corporate data scientists, because academics regard them as "frauds without any solid academic background". Indeed, there are many so-called "data scientists" without Ph.D. or any other academic achievement.

In addition, general IT experts well know that even IT systems working just fast and precisely are more important than any intelligence such as data sciences in Japan, so they believe corporate data scientists will not be useful in practice.

Despite such a situation, major mass media and executives still love data scientists and big data... I'm feeling that is too puzzling and paradoxical.

Comment by Oleg Okun on January 17, 2014 at 1:29pm

Interesting observation, Takashi. I think that some people are afraid that the emergence of data scientists will make them redundant; hence, they try to portray data scientists as useless money-consumers. For instance, general IT specialists may feel threatened because they believe that data scientists would gain more importance at their expense. Some academic scientists may feel the same if they used to serve as external experts to companies.  

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