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5 Duties of a Typical Data Scientist

A Typical Data Scientist Does These Five Things At Work Every Day

  • Solve Complex Computing Problems
  • Invent New Data Analysis Tools and Methods
  • Develop and Improve Computer Software
  • Design Experiments and Analyze Their Results
  • Publish and Present Their Findings

A person thinking about becoming a data scientist may wonder about the five duties of a typical data scientist. Data scientists work on new and innovative approaches in order to make the most of technology and its ability to handle large amounts of data. They spend most of their time at computers, but they may also spend some time discussing ideas with colleagues, researching theories in books and online or meeting with clients or supervisors about their projects.


1. Solve Complex Computing Problems

Solving complex computing problems is how data scientists spend a lot of their time. They might look at fundamental problems or new issues in computing and experiment with different methods of addressing those problems. The data scientists might develop and test new theories on solving complicated problems with data and computers. In order to accomplish this, they might work with computer or software engineers or other scientists.

2. Invent New Data Analysis Tools and Methods

Data scientists may invent new types of data analysis tools in order to improve the computing experience for other people. This might include creating more efficient codes or instructions so that a computer or app takes less time to start. They may also create new computer languages or add functionality to existing programming languages based on innovations in hardware. Data scientists may also create and test new methods for data analysis.

3. Develop and Improve Computer Software

Many data scientists spend a significant amount of their time developing new computer software or new functions within existing software. They may do this as technology advances. For example, as processors change or cloud computing advances, a data scientist may make updates to an existing piece of software so that it can do the same task in less time. The data scientists may also work on improving the user experience of software or applications for computers or mobile devices.

4. Design Experiments and Analyze Their Results

Data scientists spend a lot of their time designing experiments on computers. They might create some code and apply it to data in order to see what happens. They might try a new technique and see if the results are similar to an old technique for analyzing data. A data scientist may design and conduct experiments on different software systems in order to see how an operating system behaves or if a piece of software can handle a certain type of analysis. They also create documentation of the experiment’s design, results, and analytical procedures.

5. Publish and Present Their Findings

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, another common duty of a data scientist is to write, edit and publish their research findings. They may send their results to one or more journals for publication. Some data scientists may volunteer as peer reviewers for other data scientists or professional journals. They may also present their findings at professional conferences or meetings.

Data scientists typically work 40 hours per week during business hours in an office environment. However, they may have to work longer hours at critical points in a test or experiment with a data system. Knowing about the five duties of a typical data scientist could help a person decide if this is the right career path for their skills, talents and personal preferences.