What is Data Science?
Data Science means a lot of things to a lot of different people. However, there are three fundamental bits to Data Science that transcends all definitions of Data Science:
Data Science is computation, where you use computer-based tools to help explore data.
Data Science is inference, where you use statistical methods to help understand trends in data.
Data Science is business intelligence, where you gain actionable knowledge from the exploration of data.
Thinking of Data Science as the combination of computation, inferential thinking, and business intelligence allows us to use all three of these tools to make decisions under uncertainty. Computation, or computer science, allows us to use programming to handle massive amounts of data and analyze it easily. This is an amazing alternative to analyzing by hand! Inferential thinking, or statistics, is a tool that allows us to use the data to make better decisions. Statistics helps us understand the past and make predictions about the future. Lastly, business intelligence allows us to use domain-specific knowledge to communicate our data science results to those who are not technical.
Data science is one of the most powerful tools we have today to understand the world!