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An Introduction to Data Science

An Introduction to Data Science

An Introduction to Data Science

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Year:2013
Publisher:Syracuse University
Pages:196 pages
Language:english
Since:08/01/2015
Size:23.13 MB
License:Pending review

Content:

Data Science refers to an emerging area of work concerned with the collection, preparation, analysis, visualization, management, and preservation of large collections of information. Although the name Data Science seems to connect most strongly with areas such as databases and computer science, many different kinds of skills - including non-mathematical skills - are needed.

For some, the term "Data Science" evokes images of statisticians in white lab coats staring fixedly at blinking computer screens filled with scrolling numbers. Nothing could be further from the truth. First of all, statisticians do not wear lab coats: this fashion statement is reserved for biologists, doctors, and others who have to keep their clothes clean in environments filled with unusual fluids. Second, much of the data in the world is non-numeric and unstructured. In this context, unstructured means that the data are not arranged in neat rows and columns. Think of a web page full of photographs and short messages among friends: very few numbers to work with there. While it is certainly true that companies, schools, and governments use plenty of numeric information - sales of products, grade point averages, and tax assessments are a few examples - there is lots of other information in the world that mathematicians and statisticians look at and cringe. So, while it is always useful to have great math skills, there is much to be accomplished in the world of data science for those of us who are presently more comfortable working with words, lists, photographs, sounds, and other kinds of information.

In addition, data science is much more than simply analyzing data. There are many people who enjoy analyzing data and who could happily spend all day looking at histograms and averages, but for those who prefer other activities, data science offers a range of roles and requires a range of skills. Let’s consider this idea by thinking about some of the data involved in buying a box of cereal.

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