Data science is exploding. Why? 90% of the data available with the companies were created in the last two years. This shouldn’t be surprising given the increasing penetration of mobile devices and the internet in our daily lives. According to Statista, mobile penetration in the U.S is expected to increase to 71.4% by 2020, and internet penetration is expected to reach 94.6%. As people increasingly use devices and surf the internet, businesses will more access to consumer data.
What’s good about the data generated today?
This data can be used to make life-saving decisions and making life better. Companies are increasingly moving towards data-driven strategies to make strategic decisions. Not the following suit, would mean giving away market share. Data-driven strategies are a powerful means for businesses to stay competitive and keep their market share, if not increase it.
The usefulness of data is derived from data science. Sophisticated statistical techniques, complex machine learning algorithms, creative ways to gather data, and novel technologies form data science. Until a few years ago, data science as a professional career didn’t exist. Today however data science professionals are amongst highly sought professionals around the world.
Unfortunately, data science professionals are in low supply, owing to a lack of credible skills and the absence of effective data science learning programs. A handful of global universities offer a master’s program in data science. A select few universities offer a bachelor’s program in data science.
How universities are propagating data science?
Data science is still in its nascent stages. It requires extensive research and development to fit completely in the cog of the corporate culture. One way universities and colleges are doing this is by setting up a center of excellence, where both data science education and research are propagated.
These centers of excellence are involved in world-class data science research that has the potential to change the course of the industry. A few examples of this include —
1. Data Science Institute at the Columbia University
2. Center for Data Science at the NYU ( New York University )
3. Data Science Research at the University of Florida
4. Data Science Research & Education at the University of Washington
These centers of excellence have made breakthroughs in medical science, genome sequencing, faster drug development, faster and quicker prediction of breast cancer, and much more. NYU’s visualization lab has mas made significant breakthroughs.
Corporates are equally inclined toward these programs and support these initiatives by data science funds programs, aiming to increase the supply of data science talent and push the frontiers of data science by research.
Similarly, organizations like the World Data Science initiative aim to propagate data science education and research by partnering with universities and colleges and offer up to $ 300 million in subsidies for universities. Using this subsidy, universities and colleges can set up their center of excellence for data science. The organization also aids in helping aspirants acquire knowledge of data science.
Global corporates such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, among others are heavily invested in data science research and have sponsored several research projects at universities and colleges. Notably, a few data science research projects have impacted the companies and delivered outstanding results for them.
Data science is increasingly being adopted by companies to make their decision. It’s more of an update to the existing situation. Universities, colleges, and corporates are all contributing in their capacity to overcome the lack of data science talent. As data science matures with ongoing research and education programs, hopefully, the industry will get the desired number of professionals.