Firms need to stop overusing the term ‘data scientist’

When Mark Ridley, chief information officer of recruitment website reed.co.uk, suggested that companies who are struggling to find data scientists should look at sociology and economics graduates, my initial reaction was to disagree. Why? Over the past few years, data scientists have been talked up as being absolutely vital to business success, and their relative rarity means they can easily command six-figure salaries. Such is the hype around the role that the term ‘data scientist’ is now overused and abused. It’s often applied to anyone who has to handle data in their work. When V3 sister site Computing asked organisations whether or not they employ data scientists, the most popular answer was: “Yes, but we call them data analysts”. This is doing a disservice to the real data scientists who are out…


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