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Data science is a rapidly evolving industry that has already gone through a substantial amount of change. Many people understandably wonder what’s next in the sector. Here are some likely possibilities.
Data Science will increasingly combine with Artificial Intelligence
Data science lets practitioners examine huge amounts of information much faster than they could without the help of technology. This option generally reduces problems and allows for spotting trends people would otherwise miss. However, mistakes can still happen, mainly due to human error or fatigue.
Artificial intelligence (AI) could cut down on those errors drastically. Plus, it typically gets smarter with use and exposure to data. As an AI tool processes more information or gets used more often for certain tasks, performance improves.
Thus, AI could help data science tools draw conclusions even faster than they can without it. Analysts think combining data science with AI will help companies be more informed and let them scrutinize things better.
More concerns will arise about Data Science ethics
Data science opened new possibilities for how companies can use information and benefit from it. Many of them are mutually beneficial. For example, a company can use the data collected about a person to figure out the most relevant information to give them.
Then, the recipient gets info that’s appropriate and highly likely to meet their needs. Plus, the company keeps the person engaged and more likely to carry out a desired action.
As companies gather more data, many people are worried about what they’re doing with it. Most consumers don’t have any say over how companies use their information. Some wonder if they’d approve of what businesses do with their details. These things caused some people to push for places that use data and scientists they employ to take ethics pledges.
However, others point out that putting such a pledge into practice would not be straightforward. Getting people to agree on the content is one challenge. Another one arises if an enterprise hires third-party contractors to work with data.
Would they need to abide by the pledge too? Even if most companies stop short of adopting a promise, more consumers will probably insist that enterprises treat their information ethically and with care.
A growing number of industries will investigate real-world applications
Some industries, such as marketing, manufacturing and retail, are already well-established users of data science. However, people can expect more companies to explore using it to make things easier — even if they previously assumed it was out of reach or unnecessary.
For example, government contractors have to submit documents containing final indirect cost-rate proposals and prepare for audits that should occur within the following year. However, the inspections might happen much later if the auditing authority gets behind schedule.
Documenting everything related to the proposal is an excellent way for businesses to prepare for their audits. Data science could help them take a more streamlined approach with reduced errors.
Outside of the various industries that may apply data science to assist them with government contract readiness, more specific sectors are getting on board. Scientists came up with a data-driven approach to quantify the environmental effects of gas drilling, for example.
Another interesting application for data science involved looking through nearly 400,000 consumer food reviews to extract insights about taste. The study found people were more than two dozen times more likely to say food was too sweet rather than not sweet enough.
The researchers involved with the project said it would have been impossible to analyze so much information and gauge the associated sentiments without help from data science.
These examples help emphasize why some people think there are virtually no limits to the kinds of things data science could help companies do. The key is that enterprise leaders must be willing to see what’s possible and provide the financial resources to answer that broad question.
Data Science roles will continue to be in demand
Various studies show that more companies want to hire data scientists, and they’re willing to pay top-dollar salaries to attract them. Those things are good news for current professionals or people who aspire to work in the field.
However, it also means more businesses may directly experience the data scientist shortage that makes it difficult or impossible for them to proceed with their plans.
In-depth analyses of data science listings on popular job sites indicate a shortage exists. Companies seek to fill skill gaps in numerous ways, including by giving their employees upskilling opportunities or creating attractive packages for new candidates.
Since the demand for data scientists shows no signs of lessening, companies must keep working hard to stay on top of the skills shortage and address it however possible.
Some may also have no choice but to accept that the skills shortage could hinder them from applying data science as broadly as they intended. In that case, companies may determine it’s better to deploy data science on a smaller scale than not at all.
A dynamic industry
These future trends highlight why data science is an industry that’s always changing. That aspect makes it exciting, but it also requires companies to stay aware of how things evolve and accommodate those differences appropriately.
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