Data Science Is Dead

This article gives a very good criticism about the popular Data Science / Data Scientist these days. Data Science is something business people invented as a creative way for a new profession as a result of Big Data. “Science” is about creating knowledge as a result of study / research. Consequently, “Data Science” should be about creating knowledge through the study of data, not just data analysis, a/b testing, or troubleshooting which almost the majority of business people are doing. Essentially, the article claims data analysis / data troubleshoot is NOT Data Science.

Today it is a big hype for companies to look for Data Scientists with unrealistic expectation in those job ads. They are looking for a miracle medicine but a quick fix to data which they are unable to handle today. As a result, a short cut is taken and a new profession is created. Major software companies even invent new products to automate the jobs of Data Scientists! It is just like the story of the King’s New Robe. When a king was naked with an imaginary rob and walking down the street, everyone was so ashamed to be called stupid that they never called out the imaginary robe as a lie, not until kids, with their pure and untainted mind, laughing at the king’s stupid belief. The story was repeated to supply chain management (SCM) and is repeated to Big Data and Data Science today. People are so ashamed to be called stupid so they just follow the trend and try to build empires out of the trend. Companies are spending billions of dollars to just make reports as eye candy but do not really know how to use them to improve their bottom lines.

… you’ll realize that the “Big Data” vendors have filled your executives’ heads with sky-high expectations (and filled their inboxes with invoices worth significant amounts of money) …

The author claims there is no data science until you are working on “structured” data, where is most statistics draws its inference for prediction and control. The author emphasis the importance of “cleaning off the rotten banana peels” before you look at data so you won’t draw biased conclusion, which is totally against the idea of Big Data today.

I understand the importance of having fresh idea to keep people engaged in our advancement. Putting emotion aside, if possible, this article does provide a very bitter but true advice to Data Scientists.

Don’t be the data scientist tasked with the crime-scene cleanup of most companies’ “Big Data”—be the developer, programmer, or entrepreneur who can think, code, and create the future.

Reference: Data Science Is Dead


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