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Demanding specific set of skills

Job opportunities in areas like data science and computing are increasingly growing.

David Jack |

With the rise in the number of start-ups in the country, data science has become the buzzword. Analytics and data science industry in India is growing at fast pace. So, it comes as no surprise that skills in data science are becoming most sought after by organisations.

With rapidly changing technologies and different types of data being collected, data scientists are becoming more agile, responsive to change and know multiple technology solutions with a keen sense of figuring out what approach works best for the issue at hand.

Dunnhumby uses retail data to understand the customer. They apply this understanding towards implementing customer first solutions and provide unmatched shopping experiences through activations.

Given the vast variations in structure and velocity of the data, technologies have emerged to help scientists build the tools needed to navigate these waters. There is an increase in open-source systems, which result in faster adoption of new methods and cloud-computing as well as distributed- computing which provide a lot more flexibility in how data is consumed.

In addition, drastic changes have been seen among consumer behaviours such as higher expectations regarding convenience and great shopping experiences through channel such as apps.

This means that businesses need to use sophisticated algorithms and methods to accurately determine and predict customer needs. Artificial intelligence methods are used to provide solutions. Through machine learning techniques, our algorithms can automatically and rapidly adapt to changes in behaviour and data.

Despite the fast pace at which the data science industry is evolving, there are some specific technical skill-sets, which are expected to grow for example – open source programming languages such as R, Python, and Pyspark, database skills such as PostgreSQL, cloud and distributed computing. Industry aspirants should definitely invest in these skill-sets.

Tips for people starting a career in Data Science

For those aspiring for a career in Data Science, at an entry-level, in addition to the technical skills listed above, the following expertise will definitely help.

o Structured problem-solving skills aimed at solving real life business problems

o A solid foundation in basic statistics

o Ability to generate relevant insights from huge volumes of data

o Story telling through data and powerful visualisations

o Being curious and agile

Future: A FICCI-Nasscom report says by 2022, nine per cent Indians will be in jobs that don’t exist today. Advancements in analytics and technology will not remove the need for human intelligence. The more we progress, the more will be the need for skilled people with the ability to understand data and come up with insights.

Upskilling is and will continue to be instrumental. We need to keep ourselves relevant. Companies will be looking for eager candidates who have a learning attitude to adept new ways of working, technologies and skills.

The writer is chief technology and product.