Data Scientist Roles and Responsibilities

The digital world that we experience today is really fascinating. So many manual tasks that we did decades ago can be quickly done through smartphones these days. The easier any manual task becomes, the more complex is the technology working behind it. Data, considered as the new oil these days, is driving the growth of evolving technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. However, achieving good results is only possible when that data is utilized efficiently. 

Professionals who are given the responsibility of extracting insights from the data for an organization are data scientists. Since data science is a broad field, a range of designations come under data scientists like statisticians, researchers, data analysts, and data visualization experts. Today, there are many aspirants looking forward to a career in this field. They usually take up data science training to ensure that they develop the skills that are valued in the corporate sector. One of the reasons why data science has become a career of choice is the fact that the field has a good scope in the future owing to advancements in computer technology, the higher speed of processing data, low data storage costs, and availability of the massive amount of data. 

Are you embarking on a career in data science? If yes, then this article is for you. It gives you a clear understanding about the role of a data scientist and what are the responsibilities associated with it.  

What is a Data Scientist?

We already know data is being generated at an unprecedented rate, but that is raw data. Until we find meaningful insights from the data, it is of no use to companies. So companies hire data scientists who collect and analyze huge datasets to draw inferences using advanced tools and techniques. Various types of analytics and reporting tools are used by data scientists to find correlations and communicate them to the stakeholders. 

When working for a company, data scientists identify problems that can be solved through data analytics. Such findings can be used to predict customer behavior, new revenue opportunities, They collect data from structured as well as unstructured data from disparate sources, clean it and validate it to maintain uniformity and completeness in datasets. Ultimately, data scientists are the ones who have creative curiosity and have a knack for transforming high-tech ideas into newer ways to boost revenue. 

Though the data scientist role has evolved just a few years ago, it is not a completely new designation. Professionals who start working as statisticians, data analysts, or even computer scientists are suitable to take the role of a data scientist. These professionals aren’t limited to the world of information technology. Data scientists have better career opportunities even in the field of banking, eCommerce companies, healthcare, education, and telecommunications.   

Roles and Responsibilities of a Data Scientist

Companies hire data scientists when they require skilled professionals to handle data with huge volume and velocity. Such data is usually unstructured and they have to identify patterns and uncover insights that can help in better decision-making. While different organizations have different responsibilities assigned to data scientists, here are some of the common ones they handle:

  • Collect raw data, organize and clean it for proper analysis
  • Collaborate with other teams like the design or engineering team to understand business needs
  • Translate a company’s goal into data-based deliverables that align with what the business leaders look for
  • Create new algorithms to run queries that relate data from different sources
  • Look for opportunities to get more business data through new resources and determine their accuracy
  • Use predictive analysis to know about customer behavior, revenue generation, ad targeting, etc.
  • Create innovative statistical models and utilize algorithms for analyzing data 

Top Skills Required

Most of the data scientists hired in any company generally have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, statistics, mathematics, or related field. However, a master’s degree in data science, big data analytics, or similar discipline is preferred by employers. Talking about the technical skills, data scientists need to be well-versed in data mining, statistical analysis, core math, and any programming language like Python, R, or Java. They need to have sound knowledge of advanced pattern recognition, predictive modeling, storytelling, and data visualization. It is also important to have a working knowledge of business intelligence tools like Tableau, QlikView, or PowerBI.

Salary and Demand

According to Dice insights, data scientists earn a median salary of $112,774 in the US. Moreover, data scientists jobs  are expected to grow 19 percent over the next ten years and the average time to fill a data scientist position is quite low. Evidently, the demand for data scientists is high across all countries.  

Your Next Step

It goes without saying that data scientists are in huge demand and have great earning potential. So what should you do next? You’ll have to gain the skills that hiring managers expect from data scientists. Well, it is eLearning that bridges the gap between aspirants and companies. You can search for a reliable online training provider that offers courses on data science. Such courses can help you capitalize on data science opportunities by guiding you to understand industry-specific challenges, data characteristics of each industry, and various tools that make data analysis easier.  


Harsha VC is a freelance writer. He is a MA English graduate from the reputed university of India. He writes on different topics on automobiles, banking, travel guides, and organizational roles and responsibilities.

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