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Newest Federal Jobs: Data Scientists

Big data, data analytics, data, data, data. We’ve heard the buzz words all year.

But now Rich Campbell the Federal Chief Technologist at EMC says 2013 will be the year that big data becomes a part of agency’s mission.

And in order for that to happen Campbell told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program that agencies will have to employ full-time data scientists.

“In FY 2013 a lot of agencies are really trying to get their hands around big data,” said Campbell.

What’s new in 2013

  • Breaking data down into data sets
  • Leveraging the data for mission needs
  • Manage the data sets
  • Push for data scientists

What is the data scientists?

“A data scientist is somebody who’s full time job is to look at the data they have and understand it. Then take it one step further and figure out how to use that data more effectively. Agencies need to do it full time instead of pet projects,” said Campbell.

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Susan Pcola-Davis

I agree with the need for this type of staff. We have so much data and I think it is not be translated into usable information for decision makers. I also believe these positions do NOT only belong in the IT setting. These positions need to be available to all of us “Program Analysts.” Most of us are the one’s reviewing the data and becoming the “messenger.” Maybe with a different title “Data Scientist” will give more credibility to those of us who have the foresight due to the fact that we are the ones reviewing and analyzing the data.

Mark Hammer

I guess I might be classifiable into the “data scientist” category.

One of the nuances of such roles is the attention to anticipating what can be done with the data when in the process of figuring out what to get and form you want/need it in. That is, being able to say, during the draftng stage, “If we had this, this, and that, in THAT form and THAT quantity, then we would be able to do X, Y, and Z with it. But if we were able to score it from THAT additional source, in THIS form, we would be able to address P, Q, and R, which we haven’t been able to do until now.”

It’s the looking ahead to answering emerging questions that distinguishes a data analyst from a data scientist.