5 Skills You Need to Be a Great Data Scientist

data scientist

The field of data science has grown rapidly in recent years, and with that, the need for more data scientists. The role can apply to almost any industry, as data plays an important role in understanding trends and making essential decisions, whatever area you may work in. If you’re looking at taking your career to another level or considering stepping into something new as a data scientist, read further to find out more about the kind of skills you’ll need to possess.

Think critically

A sharp, analytical mind that is able to assess information, develop hypotheses and test out arguments is a key skill in any data scientist. The role involves being able to study vast amounts of data and understand how to identify patterns, as well as solve potential problems that may arise. While these are skills that can come naturally to some, it is worth investing time in studying to help improve this, and MSM online admissions can be a great place to look up more educational opportunities to help you improve your critical thinking.

Programming skills

Almost any data science role will require the use of current programming languages and GUI (graphical user interface) tools. It will certainly give you a major advantage to already have some insight and experience in these areas if you are planning to establish a career in data science. However, even if you are a programming novice, it is still possible to pick up the programming knowledge you need, as many data science roles will include relevant training in the languages used.

Business insight

Data science is a flourishing field, as the vast amounts of data available in recent years have been found to be incredibly helpful to making useful and informed business decisions. So if this is an area that appeals to you, having a strong sense of business acumen is absolutely necessary. This involves understanding the many factors that can affect a business’ performance, including their opportunities and the threats they face, how they make money, and identifying the potential areas for further growth.

A good understanding of statistics

Mathematical skills are another essential practical skill needed to succeed in data science. As you might expect, in order to analyze data effectively, you will need to draw upon statistical models, think critically, and be able to use mathematical tools in order to test and resolve problems that may arise. If working with mathematical ideas appeals to you and you’d like to use these tools to make real-world changes, then data science might be an ideal field to work in.


Having a good set of core skills is important to succeeding as a data scientist, but the most essential of them all is the ability and desire to problem solve. One skill is to be able to look at a problem from several different perspectives. The capacity to problem solve well will arm you with the insight to use data to tailor effective solutions to help a business meet its goals.

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