How to Build Your Data Science Competency for Post-COVID Future
Data science is helping healthcare organizations and businesses navigate the current crisis more effectively. Find out how you can learn this in-demand qualification and help them with addressing complex challenges.
By Estelle Liotard, marketing specialist and business consultant.
With the novel coronavirus bringing societies all over the world to a halt, millions are monitoring the situation in their communities, countries, and continents.
We’ve seen companies like Google creating interactive maps to track local and global cases of COVID-19. These maps have the stats on verified cases, deaths, recovered persons, as well as some predictions on how the crisis will unfold in the near future.
Chances are you’re using a map like that to stay updated on the pandemic once in a while, too. Many people around the world are, but they know very little about the fact that data science is behind those data-driven observations on the spread of the virus.
If you’re a data science professional or just a beginner looking to get into the field, here’s what you need to know about your post-COVID future.
1. You Can Get a Career in Healthcare Analytics
Data science analysis methods are already extensively used to study COVID-19.
First and foremost, data analysts use confirmed data from trusted sources like the World Health Organization (WHO) to create those interactive maps people are checking every day.
Visualization of that data helps people all around the world understand how the pandemic progresses as well as access the latest statistics.
You can get in that field right now and help to create more accurate and detailed maps for areas, regions, cities, and provinces.
Another thing you should know is that healthcare providers, insurance companies, and vendors will be in a great need for data scientists.
According to Dan Shah, they will be responsible for doing healthcare analytics - processing fragmented healthcare-related data to define patterns and trends.
The demand for data scientists is already gaining momentum. There were 8,287 health data scientist jobs available on Indeed as of June 2020.
Source: Screenshot from Indeed.com.
If you’d like to join the workforce, you will need to learn the methods and programs used in the field.
According to this study that analyzed data scientist job postings, here are the top ten qualifications the employers are looking for:
- R software
- statistics (analysis of variance, general linear model, etc.)
- machine learning techniques
- storytelling and delivering actionable results
- data-driven problem solving
- developing custom products
- communicating findings
- data manipulation
- Developing algorithms.
Enrolling in data science and machine learning courses to learn these skills and qualifications would be a great start to get a job in the field.
Read more: Beginners Learning Path for Machine Learning.
2. You Can Help Businesses Recover after the Pandemic
Businesses all around the world are taking a huge hit as a result of the pandemic.
“Many businesses are already looking for ways to stay afloat and recover,” says Dan Rutherford, a data science researcher. “This means they could use help from data scientists who can help with making better decisions.”
A recent survey of analytics professionals from different professional areas had shown that executives are increasingly looking to analytics to help with dealing with the crisis.
More than 40 percent of them treat analytics as important for navigating the crisis.
Source: Burtch Works.
The challenges that companies need help with are:
- evaluating and predicting supply chain disruptions
- sentiment analysis of consumer support inquiries and social media posts related to the company and the pandemic
- developing simulations based on previous recession data sets
- revealing and accessing the operational impact of the pandemic.
Studying data analytics approaches to addressing these challenges would be the right thing to do to build a career and help businesses recover from the crisis.
Read more: How does business intelligence & data analytics drive business value?
How Do You Learn Data Science in 2020?
The best news is that you can start learning data science from the comforts of your own home.
“To get the knowledge needed to start your career or advance your skills, you can enroll in an online course,” recommends Dana Keane, “They come with different kinds of tasks, styles, and assessments, and you can learn at the pace you prefer.”
The average cost of getting a Master’s degree in data science at a traditional institution can set you back anywhere between $25,000 and even $120,000, so choosing an online course could be a better idea if you’re on a budget.
There are courses for all skill levels and methods, so you just need to choose one and start learning.
With that in mind, here are a few links to get you started.
- How to learn data science on your own: a practical guide
- How to learn Python for data science the right way
- A comprehensive guide to learning Python for data analysis and data science.
These resources also contain links to more learning opportunities, so you can take a look to see what might work for you the best.
Before enrolling in a course, though, consider creating a learning plan. It’ll help you to focus on the most important skills while having a clear vision of how you will progress in the field.
If you ask me for some recommendations, here they are:
- if you’re a beginner: learn Python, the basics of statistics, R, and basic machine learning algorithms
- if you’re an intermediate learner: study big data, deep learning, and more advanced machine learning algorithms
- if you need to practice, use data sets. Here is the list of data sets for data mining, machine learning, and data science.
Data Science in 2020: an In-Demand Qualification?
Learning data science in 2020 is a chance to enter a promising, well-compensated field that makes a difference in healthcare, public service, business, and other areas.
So, yes, data science skills are in high demand now, as more organizations and companies are becoming data-driven.
Consider learning data science online to learn at your pace and save more money. When you think you’re ready to attend interviews, check out 21 must-know data science interview questions and answers.
Bio: Estelle Liotard is, first and foremost, a marketing specialist who has consulted with businesses from their founding forward. From her experience, she has also turned to writing about how companies can launch, get funding, and grow. She is a frequent contributor to a number of blogs and an editorial staff member of EssayAssistant , writing service that works with students and businesses.
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