# What is Data Science?

# What is data science?

As mentioned in my previous blog post, I am taking some time off this summer to investigate data science. In looking at the field, it has become almost immediatly obivous that, like “Big Data” and “Cloud Computing”, “Data Science” suffers from not having any type of clear definition. In this post I will look at a few different sources of information and try define what the scope of “Data Science” is to me… or at least define how I plan to spend my time looking at the topic.

## Results from job site searches.

I recently went on indeed.com and did a search for “data science” and “data scientist” jobs. The search came back with thousands of different positions. Here are a few of the types of skills that results included:

- Management Skills (for a data science manager position. Notably, this job posting actually included no technical skills.)
- “SAS”
- “R”
- “Python”
- “regression”
- “clustering”
- “decision trees”
- “exploratory data analysis methodology”
- “simulation”
- “scenario analysis”
- “modeling”
- “neural networks”
- “SPSS”
- “Excel”
- “Word”
- “Powerpoint” – Seriously. You’d be amazed how often this appears!

## Results from Blog Posts.

I also reviewed a few different blog posts related to data science. I even reviewed some blogs about blogs about data science…

- https://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2013/12/169933-data-science-and-prediction/fulltext
- https://www.springboard.com/blog/best-blogs-on-data-science/
- http://hunch.net/

## Results from Educational Resources

- http://datasciencedegree.wisconsin.edu/blog/history-of-data-science/
- https://datascience.berkeley.edu/
- http://www.extension.harvard.edu/academics/professional-graduate-certificates/data-science-certificate
- https://datascience.umn.edu/

My conclusion is that there are about as many definitions of data science as there are jobs, blogs, and educational resources about data science.

At the end of the day, I have decided that I will need to align my efforts towards what I am interested in, rather than the entire open-ended definition of all that “Data Science” could possibly involve.

## So, the things that I am interested in and want to explore are:

- Some Traditional Statistical Tools including:
- Machine Learning including:

To get things started, though, I am planning on taking an online course on Data Science and Machine Learning with Python, just to brush off my python skills and set a solid foundation.