Data science is a popular and lucrative profession, and despite pandemic-era slowdowns, it’s still one of the sexiest jobs around. As businesses seek to employ the power of data to increasingly digital commerce, companies across industries are on the lookout for data scientists and vice versa.
These data-powered professionals have a lot to offer. From manufacturing to hospitality, data scientists can bring invaluable insights that transform the ways we conduct business, leading to greater solutions and cost-reduction opportunities. While career growth may shift by industry and economic activity, the rise of data science is on an overall upward trend. By analyzing this trend, we can observe where opportunities may be most widely available and how data scientists can make the most of these shifts.
With Glassdoor ranking data science as the #2 job in America for 2021, exploring demand trends within the field can only lead to beneficial insights. After all, finding patterns and observing correlations are exactly the skills that make these data professionals so valuable in business. Understanding why the field of data science is growing will help to see where data scientists can make the most of their opportunities.
Why data science is a growing field
Data scientists wrangle and analyze structured and unstructured data sets to produce actionable plans that businesses can apply to greater success. Using their programming, machine learning, risk analysis, and research skills, these professionals make the world of data comprehensible for everyone else on a team. With all the benefits inherent in the clarity this provides, it is no wonder data science has consistently ranked as one of the best jobs in America.
Data science is and has been on a roll since tools like artificial intelligence became more accessible to businesses. AI allows companies to scale with unprecedented levels of insight, all made possible through the vast amounts of data collected daily for the worldwide web. By 2025, experts predict that 163 zettabytes of information will be generated, an incredible number prompted by the explosive growth of connected devices and enhanced networks. For data scientists, this means new avenues for streamlining business processes.
And the sources of big data only keep on growing. Innovations like the 5G revolution for wireless technology make data collection and application easier than ever before, allowing for more Internet of Things (IoT) wearables, monitors, and scanners to collect information on a single network. Industries can then apply these tools towards their own understanding of workflow functions and trends. As these recent developments expand on the potential of data science, the experts trained in the field have more to work with.
Data is breaking down barriers, enabling everything from self-driving vehicles to more carefully targeted advertising. By nature of these innovations, companies can improve their productivity and cut down on costs. This is why the importance of data science is moving into industries you may not have considered and helping businesses survive the economic downturn brought about by COVID-19.
Industries demanding data
Artificial intelligence, big data, and an accessible international marketplace have all come to dominate modern commerce. Facing this reality, it only makes sense that demand for data scientists will continue to grow. Data scientists can positively impact industries like manufacturing, retail, and finance. The reasons for this are clear: with all the insights generated through big data analysis, we can develop better practices for just about anything.
Here are some prominent examples:
The healthcare sector represents one of the most important industries for data scientist involvement. Not only does an estimated 30 percent of the world’s warehoused data come from the medical field, but the opportunities for improvement made possible by this cache could save the industry as much as $300 billion annually. Working in the healthcare industry as a data scientist means more than just efficiency improvements — it can mean lives saved. Because of this, data scientists are flocking to this humanitarian industry.
One example of data science in the field is the innovation of a new diagnostic tool for irregular heart rhythms. Stanford data scientists used the data generated from the 300 million electrocardiograms (ECGs) that take place annually to structure an AI-powered model that is capable of diagnosing arrhythmia more accurately than cardiologists. This is just one of the many advancements made possible by data that is driving the growth of data science in healthcare.
In transportation, too, data scientists can make life-saving improvements. From fully autonomous vehicles to IoT sensors improving the driving experience, data-driven solutions are necessary for safer, less pollutant transportation practices. In fact, 60 percent of surveyed experts in the industry say the application of IoT in transportation will boost health and safety outcomes. These outcomes are the results of machine precision that only data scientists can provide.
Honeywell demonstrated the power of connected and data-driven travel with their unveiling of a fully IoT-connected aircraft. This plane not only improved passenger experiences with a consistent internet connection but also improved the capabilities of the aircraft in terms of fuel efficiency and adaptive responses. By collecting data on the vehicle’s performance, data scientists and operators can craft better routes and systems to increase transportation safety and efficiency. The same is true of the software being devised by car and truck manufacturers to secure better solutions.
Supply chain management
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, it illustrated the need for adaptive and transparent supply chain features. Across all kinds of industries, suppliers, manufacturers, and delivery drivers struggled to keep up with who was still operating and where the product needed to go. The result was a confusing, often-delayed mess. But for supply chain managers operating with the help of data scientists, supply chains can function more smoothly.
For example, data analytics software can provide real-time insights into inventory location and availability, all on a comprehensive dashboard. FoodServiceCo, the UK’s leading food supply chain brand, applied such a data-driven platform to its own fleet. The resulting improvements in the inventory reconciliation processes saved the company 600 hours of labor daily. With improvements like these possible in supply chain management, the industry is seeking out data experts who can help parse and communicate new solutions for their own practices.
The value of a data scientist
With the value of data science clear in the potential of these industries, there is no reason to believe data science will be anything but a growing profession for years and years to come. AI adoption alone has skyrocketed in recent years. Now, half of all surveyed organizations say they have applied AI to fulfill at least one function, with many more intending to invest in data-driven solutions. As the accessibility and power of data become more common, so too does the need for data scientists.
Now, data scientists must help businesses navigate a world of global data collection and applications. From securing business processes to meeting international data security standards to connecting new and vital patterns in business trends, data scientists are vital to the success of innumerable businesses across industries. One such measure they can be part of is setting global data security standards for various industries.
Data science is still one of the sexiest jobs you can have because it increasingly means helping people and saving money. Explore how these professionals can assist your business ventures or become one yourself to make a real difference in the global economy.