We've all heard it: according to Hal Varian, statistics is the next sexy job. Five years ago, in What is Web 2.0, Tim O'Reilly said that "data is the next Intel Inside." But what does that statement mean? Why do we suddenly care about statistics and about data? This report examines the many sides of data science -- the technologies, the companies and the unique skill sets.The web is full of "data-driven apps." Almost any e-commerce application is a data-driven application. There's a database behind a web front end, and middleware that talks to a number of other databases and data services (credit card processing companies, banks, and so on). But merely using data isn't really what we mean by "data science." A data application acquires its value from the data itself, and creates more data as a result. It's not just an application with data; it's a data product. Data science enables the creation of data products.
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About the Author
Mike Loukides is an editor for O'Reilly & Associates. He is the author of System Performance Tuning and UNIX for FORTRAN Programmers. Mike's interests are system administration, networking, programming languages, and computer architecture. His academic background includes degrees in electrical engineering (B.S.) and English literature (Ph.D.).