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5. November 2015 17:57

Five Reasons to Love Data Science

5. November 2015 17:57 by mike barlow | 0 Comments

Like its cousin, “big data,” data science is a fuzzy and imprecise term. But it gets the job done, and there’s something appealing about appending the word “science” to “data.” It takes the sting out of both words. As a bonus, it enables the creation of another wonderful and confusing term, “data scientist.”

At least the term “data scientist” has a slightly subversive tone. Indeed, the early definitions of data science included hacking as a foundational element in the process. Maybe that’s why many writers find the term “data science” intriguing – it conveys a sense of the unorthodox. It requires intelligence, fearlessness and deep knowledge of arcane rituals. Like big data, it’s shrouded in mystery.

That’s exactly the sort of thinking that gets writers excited and drives editors crazy. So let’s bring some clarity to the matter! Here’s a list of five simple ways data science will improve our lives in the next five years:

1.       We will be healthier and live longer. Instead of guessing about what makes us sick and which treatments are most likely to help us, we’ll have clear evidence for making the best choices.

2.       We will become better educated because teachers and professors will use techniques that make it easier for us to learn and less likely to fail.

3.       We will become better athletes, musicians and actors thanks to programs that analyze our performance and offer real-time coaching advice.

4.       It will be easier to obtain credit and approval for loans. Easy money is a two-edged sword, of course, but data science will make it less risky for lenders to loan more money to more people.

5.       Energy use will fall dramatically as data science is applied to design a new generation of super-efficient vehicles and machines.

Mike Barlow is the author of a new book, Learning to Love Data Science (O’Reilly Media, 2015)

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