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Can you explain the role "Data Scientist"? I'm hearing a lot about how this will be the next coming of the business analyst! How does that role support the business? What are the key skills and qualities? (Webinar Attendee Question)

This questions was asked by an attendee during the Proformative webinar "Owning Technology as a Finance Leader: Cloud, Mobile, Social Media & Analytics" held on October 2, 2012.  You can view a video of the webinar here:


John O'Rourke
Title: VP, Product Marketing
Company: Oracle
(VP, Product Marketing, Oracle) |

There's an article in this month's issue of the Harvard Business Review on this topic that explains it quite well and identifies it at the sexiest job in the 21st century. This is a new breed of analysts who can help organizations mine and harness big data to help managers make better decisions. These folks need to have a combination of technical, statistical analysis and business skills. See link to the article here:

Lynne Holloman
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Woodside Equine Clinic
(Accounting Manager, Woodside Equine Clinic) |

Another good link to provide well crafted definition of "data scientist". Also look up terms like "data architect" and "data modeler".
If CFO's are going to provide solid metrics for their company's performance, they are going to need to at least conceptually understand the roles these people play.

Topic Expert
Mark Pieper
Title: Director, SCS Finance
Company: Premiere Healthcare Alliance
(Director, SCS Finance, Premiere Healthcare Alliance) |

Look at the NC State Master in Analytics program. These are what the Data Scientists "look like".

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