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.”
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.
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:
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.
become better educated because teachers and professors will use techniques that
make it easier for us to learn and less likely to fail.
become better athletes, musicians and actors thanks to programs that analyze
our performance and offer real-time coaching advice.
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.
use will fall dramatically as data science is applied to design a new
generation of super-efficient vehicles and machines.
Barlow is the author of a new book, Learning to Love Data Science (O’Reilly Media, 2015)