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August 14, 2013

Why You Won’t Hire a Data Scientist

I remember the first time I heard the terms “business intelligence” and “analytics.” Business. Intelligence. Yep, that was something I could get behind.

Then I figured out that it really amounted to business statistics, automated to a certain extent by a computer. It was a bit of a bummer, really.

It seems the term "data science” is likewise overrated.

IT consultant Robin Bloor, in a fabulous piece, points out that there’s really no such thing as “data science.” In fact, what we’re calling data science has very little to do with science and everything to do with mathematics — specifically, statistics.

“If you are already tired of the term ‘big data,’ but not yet tired of the term ‘data science,’ let me help you get there as swiftly as possible,” Bloor writes. “If there were a particular activity devoted to studying data, then there might be some virtue in the term ‘data science.’ And indeed there is such an activity, and it already has a name: it is a branch of mathematics called statistics.”