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The mythical “Data Scientist” | Forbes

For years, the data business has relied on “data specialists”.  These experts understand data, and business leaders have to know who they are if they are to find answers to their questions.  My friend Howard Dresner, who coined the term “Business Intelligence”, used to call this phenomenon the “black market of information”.  These experts had all types of names from “Database Administrators” to “BusinessAnalysts”.  The latest craze is the title “Data Scientist”.

If you research this new term, you’ll realize that:
1) The industry doesn’t have a clear definition for what a “Data Scientist” is.  (Best resources include EMC’s whitepaper here and InformationWeek’s Doug Henschen’s report here).
2) Most agree that there will never have enough of these experts.  According to McKinsey, the US will need close to 200,000 analytical experts & 1.5 million more data-literate managers by 2015 to take advantage of “Big Data”.

Short of going around the company & re-titling your “Database Administrators” & “Business Analysts” to “Data Scientists”, what should you do with this information?

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