Data scientist has been called “the sexiest job of the 21st century,” presumably by
someone who has never visited a fire station. Nonetheless, data science is a hot and
growing field, and it doesn’t take a great deal of sleuthing to find analysts breathlessly
prognosticating that over the next 10 years, we’ll need billions and billions more data
scientists than we currently have.
But what is data science? After all, we can’t produce data scientists if we don’t know
what data science is. According to a Venn diagram that is somewhat famous in the
industry, data science lies at the intersection of:
• Hacking skills
• Math and statistics knowledge
• Substantive expertise
Although I originally intended to write a book covering all three, I quickly realized
that a thorough treatment of “substantive expertise” would require tens of thousands
of pages. At that point, I decided to focus on the first two. My goal is to help you
develop the hacking skills that you’ll need to get started doing data science. And my
goal is to help you get comfortable with the mathematics and statistics that are at the
core of data science.