The Lilien Blog

Definitions of a Data Scientist – the Sexiest Job of the 21st Century

Posted on: September 28th, 2012 by John Galbraith 5 Comments

From John Galbraith

On Thursday, September 20, Lilien hosted “Profit From All Your Data – Harness the Power of Hadoop,” a Big Data lunch event for senior IT professional’s at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Portland. Josh Wills, Director of Data Science for Cloudera – the world’s number one distributor of Apache Hadoop – discussed how enterprises are harnessing and leveraging Big Data for their competitive advantage.

I particularly enjoyed when Wills provided a comical, self-effacing definition of “Data Scientist”. Wills had previously offered a definition he found amusing via Twitter: “A Data Scientist is a Data Analyst Living in California.” This time, he started with, “a person who is better at statistics than any software engineer and better at software engineering than any statistician” – click here for YouTube clip. Getting a bit more serious, Wills then summarized Data Scientists “as people with the ability to communicate to business leaders, end users, statisticians, software users, (etc). (Data Scientists) can essentially speak everybody’s language and can function as the glue of an organization – effectively tying different functionalities together, and helping people work together.”

Meanwhile, the October issue of the Harvard Business Review was referring to “Data Scientist” as The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century. In the issue, the author defines Data Scientist as “… a high-ranking professional with the training and curiosity to make discoveries in the world of big data.” Any way you cut it, the position is a critical component to Big Data success!

The event also showcased Lilien’s Data Scientists Mike Becker (Big Data Practice Manager) and Paul Cattrone (Analytics Practice Manager), who described how Lilien brings Big Data solutions together in a single point of contact, using best of breed technologies combined with superior customer service and technical support.

Acknowledged by CRN as one of the 21 Big Data Products To Check Out At Hadoop Summit in June, Lilien recognizes and respects the barriers to adoption of Big Data technologies. It starts by communicating with a trusted solutions partner who has genuine Data Scientists on staff who speak “everybody’s language” in your enterprise.

There’s never been a better time to talk about Big Data with Lilien’s Data Scientists. Contact us today and discover how Lilien can help you store, analyze and monetize your Big Data.

(This was Wills second keynote appearance at a Lilien sponsored event, having presented to Seattle senior IT professionals where he offered interesting discussions of Hadoop versus Relational Databases and the benefits to the early adopters of Hadoop – see video clip.)

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5 Responses

  1. John nice blog piece on one of my favorite job titles. My 10 year old son has told me, over the past several weeks, that he is going to be a data-analyst at Google when he grows up. I couldn’t be more proud. Now I must say, I have a client who employs several “Data Scientists” (I am not one of them – company is Stics, Inc. http://www.stics.com and they do big data analysis with predictive techniques for the gaming and entertainment industries) and these guys are just like you describe – they effectively connect business problems with data-oriented solutions. Now that’s sexy!!!! lol

    • Kurt Trutner says:

      Thanks for your reply, Leland – great to hear from you. Your son is on the right track at 10 years old – awesome that he is so into it already. Data Scientists will be in great demand for years perhaps decades to come. Universities are beginning to realign their degree programs to accomodate this phenomenon. Lilien recognizes this and has dedicated staff and resources to meet the growing demand for data-oriented solutions with data scientists who speak all languages in the enterprise and beyond.

  2. [...] Scientist” talk embedded below from Cloudera data science director Josh Wills, which was hosted by Cloudera partner Lilien LLC recently in Portland, Ore. The key take-away is, you don’t literally have to be a [...]

  3. Good blog post, nice efforts. It couldn’t appear to have been penned any better. Reading this article piece of writing reminds me about my old boss! He usually kept babbling about this. I will email this post to him. Pretty confident he will probably have a high-quality read. Appreciate your posting!

  4. Mike Martino says:

    Man how things change, Leland. I can remmeber the days when ten year old kids wanted to grow-up to be professional tennis players…

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