For all of the (mildly, jokingly) unflattering things I’ve ever said about data science, I really do respect it and think they people that pursue that as their trade are supremely intelligent. Which is why, when I caught this article on Tech Crunch today, I figured I had to share it and weigh in.
Marking the difference between queries and algorithms is, in my opinion, the most poignant piece of the article. Put simply, a query is a “one-way” function that will return exactly one result. Algorithms, alternately, mold to the data set which is fed to it. They have the capacity to “learn” or adapt to different sets of data. Hence – they are much more powerful than queries (short nod of apologies to all my friends who live for SQL code). I know a lot of people that think anything can be solved with a query. And – in their defense – this is the type of education that permeates a lot of traditional information science degree programs (especially abroad). But if we’ve learned anything in recent history, it’s that we are far from traditional in this new age of technology.
So that would be my challenge to everyone (including myself at times) that bangs on data scientists. First off, we have to arrive at a mutual understanding of what it really means. Then, we really need to start embracing it. Because one day soon, the guy or gal that can master data science will rule the world.
Til Next Time,