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Forbes on Data Science: “Half-Life Of A Buzzword”


Read the discussion on the half-life of a buzzword and is “Data Science” replacing “Business Analytics” as the popular degree title for people interested in data and analytics.



By Gregory Piatetsky, Aug 20, 2013. c comments

Gil Press has an interesting article in Forbes: ForbesData Science: What’s The Half-Life Of A Buzzword?, which grew from a discussion between me, Gil, Meta Brown, and Shlomo Argamon on Data Science. Gil wrote

A recent survey conducted by Gregory Piatetsky-Shapiro of KDnuggets, found a “strong interest in online certificates and MS degrees in Analytics, Big Data, Data Mining, and Data Science, even among those who already have graduate degrees.”

According to Piatetsky’s www.kdnuggets.com/2013/02/education-analytics-data-mining-trends-overview.html analysis of graduate degrees in these fields, they started to emerge in 2007, with a big spike in 2012. The proliferation of these programs-which the survey’s findings indicate will continue unabated for the foreseeable future-prompted a strong response on Twitter from Meta Brown, a consultant and writer on business analytics, and rejoinders by Piatetsky and Shlomo Engelson Argamon, director of Illinois Institute of Technology’s new Master in Data Science program. Delighted, I convened via email a virtual panel on data science education.

Read more.

Google Trends shows that “Analytics” popularity started in 2006, after Google Launched Google Analytics in Dec 2005. We also note that “Analytics” excluding Google [analytics -google] searches were about 50% of all “Analytics” searches.

Tom Davenport book “Competing on Analytics” was published in April 2007 and produced a noticeable but much smaller bump in the popularity of “Analytics”. Note that “Analytics” has overtaken “Data Mining” in popularity around 2006, and that “Data Science” popularity is still much smaller than either of “Data Mining” or “Analytics”.

See also my presentation on SlideShare: Analytics Industry Overview.

Google Trends: Analytics, Data Mining, Data Science

The title of “Data Scientist” was coined in 2008 by DJ Patil (then head of LinkedIn data/analytics team) and Jeff Hammerbacher (then head of Facebook data/analytics team). Indeed.com job trends show that “Data Scientist” job title popularity was rising since around Jan 2012, before Oct 2012 article in HBR Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century.


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