The Data Behind Today’s Data Scientists for 2015


Data scientists are on the frontlines of the big data explosion fighting to make sense of it all. They are the ones who enable organizations to capitalize on the evolving big data landscape. CrowdFlower surveyed data scientists nationwide to better understand their complex role. Some notable findings are below:

What’s it like to be a data scientist today?
Nearly 79% of data scientists are satisfied in their jobs and 30.1% find it “totally awesome”.

Today’s data scientists have been working in the field for:

  • 10+ years: 16%
  • 5-10 years: 26%
  • 2-5 years: 34%
  • 1-2 years: 13%

They hold a variety of roles:

  • Researcher: 54.3%
  • Computer Scientist: 52.3%
  • BI Analyst: 36%
  • Mathematician: 19%
  • Educator: 18.3%
  • Entrepreneur: 12.4%

Their top 3 tools are:

  • Excel: 55.6%
  • R: 43.1%
  • Tableau: 26.1%

Open source is everywhere: 98% of data scientist say open source software is important to their workflow.

Data scientists are happiest at work while:

  • 53.6% performing predictive analysis
  • 52.3% mining data for patterns
  • 49.7% interacting with data dynamically

What are their biggest challenges?
Dirty data is the #1 hurdle for data scientists.

  • 66.7% of data scientists say cleaning and organizing data is their most time-consuming task.
  • 52.3% of data scientists cite poor quality data as their biggest daily obstacle.

The #2 challenge? Limited resources.
Almost 80% of data scientists feel there are not enough data scientists working in the field.

  • 40% insufficient analysis time
  • 30% limited tech tools
  • 30% limited ability to model data

What’s on the data scientist’s wish list?
Data scientists want organizations to make these changes to better empower their data science teams:

  • 52.3% set clearer goals
  • 54.3% provide additional resources
  • 47.7% invest more in training
  • 41.2% set realistic project timelines
  • 23.5% hire more data scientists
  • 22.2% offload data cleaning responsibility

The Data Behind Today's Data Scientists for 2015