What is Data Science?
There is much debate among scholars and practitioners about what data science is, and what it isn’t. Does it deal only with big data? What constitutes big data? Is data science really that new? How is it different from statistics and analytics?
At its core, data science involves using automated methods to analyze massive amounts of data and to extract knowledge from them. With such automated methods turning up everywhere from genomics to high-energy physics, data science is helping to create new branches of science, and influencing areas of social science and the humanities. The trend is expected to accelerate in the coming years as data from mobile sensors, sophisticated instruments, the web, and more, grows. In academic research, we will see an increasingly large number of traditional disciplines spawning new sub-disciplines with the adjective "computational" or “quantitative” in front of them. In industry, we will see data science transforming everything from healthcare to media.
WHAT DATA SCIENCE MEANS FOR RESEARCH
In virtually all areas of intellectual inquiry, data science offers a powerful new approach to making discoveries. By combining aspects of statistics, computer science, applied mathematics, and visualization, data science can turn the vast amounts of data the digital age generates into new insights and new knowledge.
Data + Context
Drawing insight from a piece of data involves understanding how it fits into the larger picture of an organization, explains IBM’s Jeff Jonas, distinguished engineer and chief scientist for IBM Entity Analytics. Business environments aren’t the only ones that require context; context is a necessity for any attempt to know more by examining data.