What Does A Data Scientist Do? | Kaplan Professional

Given it’s now possible to collect mass volumes of data through technology advancements, data science has become a rapidly growing field. This boom has naturally resulted in increased demand for skilled and qualified professionals who can extract valuable insights from data.

Want to know more about this exciting and future-focused field? We break down what data science is, what data scientists do, and how you can kick-start your data science career.



What is data science?

Put simply, data science is the study of data. It draws from various disciples such as computer science, statistics, mathematics and the visualisation of information. Data science extracts value from data to develop knowledge, generate insights, and analyse and solve complex problems. It helps organisations to make informed decisions and drive strategy to gain advantage over competitors.

90% of the world’s data was only created in the last few years and data volumes are continuing to grow. Job opportunities for data scientists in Australia are expected to increase by 12.9% between 2019 to 2024. Data science has become an attractive skill set, with statistical analysis and data mining now ranking as some of the most in-demand skills employers search for in job listings. There’s a common misconception that data science is limited to the technology sector. There are opportunities in multiple industries, including science, agriculture, cybersecurity, health, finance, defence, medicine, plus more.


What is big data?

Big data is commonly recognised as the ‘three Vs’ – volume, velocity and variety. Big data is larger and more complex sets of data, which arrives in growing volumes, has more velocity, and consists of larger variety. As it provides greater insights and access to more information, big data can play a key role in supporting businesses with product development, inspiring innovation, customer experience, machine learning, plus more.


What is a data scientist?

Data scientists support businesses by identifying opportunities to best use data. They also:

  • Integrate, find and collect relevant data sources
  • Perform analysis
  • Write code
  • Visually present data to tell a story
  • Create tools that businesses and teams can use

Data scientists can be employed across a multitude of industries and have various responsibilities in their role. The role of a data scientist can often be described similar to a data analyst, yet data scientists generally require more diverse coding skills.

Some of the skills required for data scientists to perform daily responsibilities include machine learning, computer science, statistical analysis and programming. Programming is used to analyse data sets and solve complex problems. Data scientists also use various programming languages to write code, such as Python, R and Java. Machine learning is generally for implementing algorithms, while statistical analysis identifies data patterns. As data scientists play a critical role in supporting organisations to make decisions, you’ll also need to be a confident communicator, have strong interpersonal skills, and be a critical and analytical thinker.


What does a data scientist do?

There has been increased demand for data scientists in recent years due to the way businesses make decisions, but what exactly does a data scientist do? Data scientists take volumes of raw data to solve problems by looking for patterns, trends and insights. The ability to understand data and transform this into insights can be extremely valuable to an organisation. Data scientists understand business goals and can establish how data can achieve these goals to help make data-driven and objective decisions.

Data scientists can draw on a range of areas in their roles, including advanced computing, maths, statistics and data engineering. As a data scientist, you may even overlap with other roles within an organisation. For example, you may be responsible for predicting customer behaviour and making recommendations to consumers. You may even get involved with sales responsibilities and create sales forecasts based on data, or other functions like accounting or consultancy. A career in data science can be fulfilling as you have the skills and insights to help businesses and individuals make smarter decisions, which can contribute towards better outcomes for consumers and society as a whole.


Studying data science with Kaplan Professional

Data science is an extensive field with a broad range of career opportunities across multiple industries. With data science roles expected to remain in high demand, now may be the ideal time for you to take the next step towards pivoting your career into the data science field. Whether you’re an absolute beginner, have a basic understanding of data science techniques, or want to capitalise on a crossover in skill set, Kaplan Professional can help you achieve your goals with our purpose-built data science programs powered by leading global data science educator Metis.

You’ll benefit from live online instruction, learn from world-class data science practitioners with deep industry experience, and have real-time interaction with your classmates providing maximum engagement, collaboration and support. You’ll also gain highly desirable technical knowledge and skills to expand your horizons and support you to accelerate your future-focused career in data science.

Curious to know more? Register your interest today.