Today I attended a lunchtime talk (by one of my former students!) who is a Data Scientist in one of Ireland's leading banks. It was an event organized for our data analytics students and over 100 turned out to hear what a bank does with data, and also to find out about the types of skills needed to be a data scientist.
|Image source: International Excellence.|
I was interested to discover that this bank has almost a dozen employees in its newly formed Data Science Unit. Like most organizations, this bank is sitting on a vast amount of data, and they are looking to find out what is in the data that they did not see before. Their team has many different backgrounds with a good mix of business, scientific, and technical backgrounds. What was clear is that this team needs to be able to "tell a story...has to be clear...has to be simple". Some examples of the work shown to us was how the bank analyses sentiment on Twitter (and how to deal with the Irish sense of humour and sarcasm), using sunburst diagrams to analyse web traffic, and to show how tourists from different countries in Ireland use ATMs (and work with tourist bodies to share data). Data governance and regulatory compliance were also very important items to consider "every day".
All in all, it was a very interesting session that should give our students an insight into what data scientists do.