I like this idea for a thread and hate the misconceptions of what a "data scientist" is actually supposed to do.
My current title is "Data Scientist", but previously have held the titles:
- Marketing Analyst
- Management Analyst
- Program Analyst
- Senior Analyst
- Reports Manager
I've done pretty much the same thing in all those roles...
- combine data from different sources
- clean up data manually entered by other people
- create reports from data in databases
- create plots to convey trends in data
- analyze data to identify patterns useful for decision making
- interpreting statistics and drawing inferences from data
- using data to make predictions about the future (i.e. forecasting)
I have used machine learning to solve problems, but I don't feel like it's a requirement for the job or even the best way to solve all the problems presented to me. As far as tools, R is probably the one I use most frequently. I use it for most of what I do, e.g. data collection, data munging, ETL, data modeling, web scraping, analysis and statistical inference, data visualization, reporting (using R markdown) and web development (using Shiny). I also rely pretty heavily on SQL (various flavors, but mostly MySQL and BigQuery). In addition to R, I've written code professionally in Python and Go and academically using Scala.
I like to think of myself as pretty competent and capable as a professional data scientist, I've been told otherwise by plenty of people. I've been told that I'm not qualified to be a data scientist because:
- I don't have a PhD
- I haven't done enough machine learning in production
- I don't use Spark (though I have tried using it from Scala, pyspark, Rspark and SparkSQL)
- I don't know Java
- I have too much experience doing data engineering/ETL
- I have too much experience in management
- I don't know enough math
- I don't know what algorithm
xyz is or how algorithm
- I don't use deep learning
Those excuses have made for some pretty awkward interview experiences, but I don't let it impact my confidence. I just keep solving problems and doing my best to provide real value to the company I work for.