In a world of ever-advancing technologies and scientists continually looking to push the bounds of what can be done with them, for corporations large and small looking to capitalize on their new environment, data is king.
Aside from conspiracy theorists and whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, few really take the time to think about how much of themselves they put online. Consumers use platforms like social media to display who they are to the rest of the world, making their demographic information, products that they’ve used or purchased, and other marketing-relevant information widely available to the public. And that’s putting aside corporate marketing devices such as cookies, which enable targeted advertising based on the websites that consumers visit, among other things. With the proliferation and widespread usage of social media, consumers have put years’ worth of their personal data online, assembling a massive database of historical data so huge that economists are calling our era the era of Big Data.
For marketers and corporations looking to develop all-new marketing strategies, this gigantic accumulation of data is a veritable Necronomicon of forbidden, powerful knowledge: only for those who haven’t been properly trained to disseminate it, to read and understand it, what it winds up being, in reality, is a massive mound of indiscernible mad babbling. What these companies need in order to take advantage of this information is an associate who has been trained to disseminate it, who can sift through mountains of madness and find the hidden secrets that will lead their business to new realms of wealth and prosperity.
These associates, known as data scientists, are in extremely high demand and tend to get paid rather handsomely for their services. Let’s talk about what they do and how you can become one if you’re so inclined.
Data Scientists: Diviners of Hidden Wisdom
What data scientists do might as well be an occult practice to those who don’t keep up with the latest advances in technology, but for those who are trained in statistics, the practice is really quite simple. Data scientists first take a massive mound of unprocessed data, usually from multiple sources, and clean it, sifting through it to identify potentially useful patterns. Once they get ahold of these patterns, they then proceed to design models around them through which several hypotheses can be run; both of these processes are aided through machine learning techniques, though a data scientist is typically also highly skilled in analytics themselves. After they develop a testable model based on those predictions, they run several scenarios through that model, gauging the success or failure of a number of potential outcomes, and then pass their results onto their parent company’s marketing team.
The findings of data scientists are typically held in high regard by their parent companies, as their process for finding positive outcomes relies heavily on the scientific method. As such, they are treated as oracles, in a sense, prophets whose words foretell either success or doom, and can help companies steer away from potentially deadly marketing faux pas.
Skipping Miskatonic University
So how can one learn to become a data scientist? Does one need to go back to a four-year university, spending years and thousands of dollars on a degree that doesn’t even guarantee you’ll get a job? The horror!
No, for people looking to switch careers and become data scientists, data science bootcamps may be a more cost-effective, less time-consuming solution. These bootcamps are intense educational programs that typically last around 8 to 36 weeks, and usually cost less than a single semester at a four-year university. With full-time and part-time options and providers who offer programs to suit every need, data science bootcamps are wholly adaptable to your current lifestyle, giving you the leeway to learn a new trade while still working a busy day job. Moreover, some of these bootcamp programs have mentorships and exclusive opportunities to forge relationships with employers, making it more likely that you’ll be a preferred candidate when you do graduate.
Do you hear the call? Attend a data science bootcamp, and get ready to learn so much that your life changes irrevocably for the better.