How to Be a Data Scientist

Hello, my name is Apryl and I am a data scientist.

I didn’t realize that I was a data scientist until earlier this year. For my entire career I just thought that I was a statistician that was really good at finding the deep insights from data and who could write a bit of code in a few languages. Then, a few months ago I started taking some workshops at one of the hot new “trade schools” that teach code, analytics, marketing, UX and more. It has been a while since I was in college and I wanted to keep my skills fresh so that my company can continue to innovate. This is how I found out that I am and always have been a data scientist.

What does it take to be a data scientist? It isn’t something that you can necessarily pick up overnight and there are people who simply don’t like working with numbers. I definitely suggest a love of numbers and data as a pre-requisite. It will make things much easier if you really embrace data. In addition, I feel that you need:

1. A grasp on statistics – Or the ability to read up on, understand and apply the concepts and formulas. I use a lot of regression models, histograms, scatter plots, t-tests and r-squared values. In my field (digital marketing) most everything can be answered with these tools. Keeping things simple is highly recommended. Sure, you can also use K nearest neighbor, decision trees, neural nets and more complex methods but starting simple can answer many questions.

2. Natural curiosity – If you were the kid that took things apart to see how they worked then you’ve got the right mindset. If you like to dig into a question or problem until you find an answer —> Read More