Why physicists are a good fit for data science jobs

CERN’s new linear accelerator (Linac 4)

With data scientists in short supply, physicists and other academic researchers from hard-science disciplines are increasingly finding places on data science teams — and even leading big data analytics projects.

Kiril Tsemekhman earned a doctorate in physics before moving into the online ad industry, eventually taking on his current role as chief data officer at Integral Ad Science Inc. So how does a physicist go on to lead cutting-edge big data analytics projects for a company that has built its business around its data collection and analysis capabilities?

 “If I reflect on it, I think certain backgrounds prepare you better for data science,” Tsemekhman said.

Increasingly, physics is one of those backgrounds. Tsemekhman said he’s seeing a lot of people stepping out of academia and into data science jobs. On his team, his background in genetic physics is complemented by researchers with degrees in chemistry, computational neuroscience and linguistics. Other team members also have degrees in physics.

With people who have no clue abt business, it is hard to get practical solutions @kirilt #data Click To Tweet

This is perhaps a necessary evolution of the data science field. At a time when demand for data scientists is rising, driven partly by the growing ranks of analytics services providers and other companies looking to monetize data, the supply isn’t keeping pace. Traditional data scientists, with degrees and experience in advanced math, computer science and business disciplines, remain scarce. So, businesses are looking elsewhere — and researchers from the hard sciences can be a good fit.

You don't need a PhD and 5-10 years exp to be eff as a #datascientist #data #analytics @jameskobielus Click To Tweet

In many scientific fields, physics chief among them, statistical analysis of large data sets is common. Tsemekhman said he cut his teeth modeling the interaction of genes based on Read more…

 

Why physicists are a good fit for data science jobs

Kiril Tsemekhman earned a doctorate in physics before moving into the online ad industry, eventually taking on his current role as chief data officer at Integral Ad Science Inc. So how does a physicist go on to lead cutting-edge big data analytics projects for a company that has built its business around its data collection and analysis capabilities?

 

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Eric Axelrod

President & Chief Architect at DIGR
I have helped companies bring new data driven products to market, drive efficiency out of their supply chain, execute strategic plans, and drive top line and bottom line growth by enabling every business function with actionable analytics. I can transform a business which is lacking critical insight into an agile, strategic, data driven organization.

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