A Bright Future for the Data Science Field
According to FlowingData, searches for “data scientist” overtook those for “statistician” in December 2013. In fact, Google Trends shows that this is the case for April and October 2013, as well, part of a larger positive trend for the search term “data scientist”:
Relative number of searches per month for query “statistician” (blue) and “data scientist” (red) – Google Trends
Interestingly, while the number of overall searches related to “data analyst” is much greater than either “data scientist” or “statistician,” they do seem to be keeping pace with the growth of “data scientist,” remaining parallel as the two terms climb:
Relative number of searches per month for query “statistician” (blue), “data scientist” (red), and “data analyst” (yellow) – Google Trends
In fact, the search term “data analyst” seems to have halted its downward trend of 2004–2007 and begun to rise right around the time that “data scientist” began to gain popularity, further indicating that the two are linked to the same topic or idea (i.e., data science). One might hypothesize that the two jobs described are two sides of the same coin.
As FlowingData quickly points out, “it doesn’t seem like statistician is losing interest to data scientist, as the former has been fairly consistent for the past few years, so take that how you want.” Take that how you want, indeed — these are, at best, simply indications. One of the key rules of science applies here, as well: correlation is NOT causation. Trends are fascinating, but without a deeper look into the data, we have no concrete way of saying one way or another what these patterns mean for the zeitgeist as a whole.
Whatever the reason for these changes, however, it’s clear that various applications of data analysis are becoming rooted in the popular conscience — and if the related searches “data scientist salary,” “jobs data scientist,” and “data scientist job” are any indication, the future is bright for those in the data science discipline.