Published 01 February, 2021

The Road to Becoming a Top Notch Data Scientist (7 Mins Read)

Undoubtedly, the job of a data scientist is one of the most lucrative options these days and it’s driving a lot of people to become a part of it. Data science courses are taken up by people across the globe. Moreover, enthusiasts are also making transitions i.e moving to data science from other fields. However, the rise in the popularity of becoming a data scientist is not only generating lots of opportunities, but it’s also creating a lot of competition between the aspiring data scientists and those who are already working in the field. So, the big question is “How to become a top notch data scientist’ to stand out from the crowd.

Acquiring the requisite skills to become a data scientist is absolutely essential for anyone aspiring to secure that particular job. But one should also understand that data science is a highly complex field and it requires a lot of skills to get that job.While it’s quite difficult for anyone to have all the skills required in the data science field, there’re some skills which differentiate between just a good data scientist and a top notch data scientist. Here, we would discuss about the skills which are required  to become a top notch data scientist.

Important skills to become a top notch data scientist

  1. Good and continued education

In general, data scientists come with a very strong educational background which helps them to attain the in depth knowledge required to perform their job responsibilities. Forty six percent of the data scientists come with PhDs while 88% percent hold a at least a Master’s degree. The most common fields of study for a data scientist are maths, statistics, computer science and engineering.

If you aspire to become a top notch data scientist, then your education must not end there. You have to undertake several online trainings to acquire the specialized skills which are creating a lot of buzz around the data science domain. Thereafter, you can go ahead and get a Master’s degree in any of the fields related to data science. In addition to it, you should keep on practicing what you have learnt in a class by starting a blog and exploring data analysis etc. to learn more about the topics.

  1. R

The programming language R is very heavily used in data science for the statistical problem solving. This language can be used to solve almost any data science related problems. So, having a solid understanding of R is quite crucial to become a top notch data scientist. Although R comes with a very steep learning curve, there’re loads of great resources available on the internet which can help to gain adequate knowledge. One can also join a coding bootcamp to acquire the required knowledge and get the hands on experience.

  1. Python

Python is one of the topmost popular programming languages in the data science domain. Actually, a large number of data scientists prefer to use Python as their main programming language. It can be used at almost every step involved in the data science processes. It can be used not only across large datasets but also in creating datasets. A huge percentage of data scientists around the world consider Python as the foundation for performing several data analysis tasks. So, in order to become a top notch data scientist, you need to be the master of this language.

  1. SQL

Although, Hadoop and NoSQL have become a big part of the data science, proficiency in SQL (Structured Query Language) is also extremely important to become a top notch data scientist. SQL is specifically designed to help the data scientists to access, communicate as well as to work on the data. It also helps in transforming the database structures and carrying out many analytical functions. Commands of SQL which are concise can not only help to save time but also reduce the amount of programming that is needed to perform difficult queries.

  1. Apache Spark

Apache Spark is one of the most widely used big data technologies, which has a big data computation framework quite similar to Hadoop. However, Spark is much faster than Hadoop which reads and writes to the disk. So, to become a top notch data scientist, you need to be proficient in Apache Spark as it’s essentially designed for data science to help in running complicated algorithms faster.

In addition, it helps the data scientists to deal with complex unstructured datasets and can be used on a single machine or on a cluster of machines. The strength of it lies in its platform and speed, both contributing heavily towards carrying out the data science projects easily.

  1. Machine learning

Although, a significant number of data scientists are not so proficient in the areas and techniques of machine learning, a solid understanding of that is required in order to become a top notch data scientist. The machine learning techniques like decision trees, logistic regression etc. help to solve various data science problems which are based on the predictions of key outcomes.  Advanced machine learning skills like the different learning methods (reinforcement learning, supervised learning, and unsupervised learning), natural language processing, computer vision, time series etc. can help a data scientist stand out from the crowd.

  1. Hadoop platform

Having an experience with Pig or Hive is considered to be a strong selling point and very important to become a top notch data scientist. Data scientists may have to encounter situations where they have to send data to other machines or the volume of the data exceeds the memory of the system, this is where Hadoop helps them immensely. Hadoop is used to send data to the different points on a system quickly. Moreover, it can be used for the data exploration, data filtration, data sampling and summarization.

  1. Unstructured data

The ability to also work efficiently with unstructured data is extremely crucial to become a top notch data scientist. An unstructured data refers to the undefined content which doesn’t fit into the database tables. These include videos, blog posts, video feeds, customer reviews, social media posts etc. which have heavy texts lumped together. Sorting the unstructured data is quite difficult as those are not streamlined. By working on the unstructured data, data scientists can untangle huge insights which can help in an effective decision making.

  1. Data visualization

Huge amount of data is being generated everyday by the business world and this data needs to be translated into a format which should be easy to understand for the average people. As people understand more from the pictures of graphs and charts than the raw data naturally, so it’s the responsibility of a data scientist to visualize that data with the help of different data visualization tools like Tableau, ggplot, Matplotlib etc. These tools help the data scientists in a big way to convert the complicated results from the projects to an easily comprehensible format.

The data visualization helps businesses to directly work with the data. This lets them grasp the necessary insights quickly and act on the business opportunities to gain a competitive advantage.

  1. 10.Good business acumen

A robust understanding of the business you’re working in is also very crucial in order to become a top notch data scientist. It’s important to have the ability to discern the problems critical for the business and identify the new ways the company should adopt to leverage the captured data to the maximum. In order to perform this task efficiently, data scientists have to understand how the problems they solve would impact the business.


Nowadays, lots of events take place at a time like data science meets, coding seminars, , hackathons etc. which are organized by leading organizations to scout for the best talents and groom them properly as well. An active participation in those events not only helps to broaden your knowledge to encounter the real world challenges but also helps to build a good and wide network easily. You should have a solid understanding of most the above skills to become a top notch data scientist. Hence, to learn those skills and sharpen the saw, you have to choose a premier institute which offers the best courses on data science.

Today, the marketplace has plenty of data science courses. A large number of training academies also offer attractive discounts on these courses. However, it’s much much more than the lucrative packages or hefty discounts to choose the right course correctly for yourself. You should have a basic knowledge of the courses that you’re planning to undergo and their individual offerings to be able to compare them and choose the right one. A clearly chalked out career plan is necessary in order to succeed in your journey to become a top-notch data scientist.

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