A day in the life of a data scientist: expert or beginner

Photo of Mikhail Nilov

With more and more people entering the tech industry, it’s good to understand what your day-to-day looks like. I kindly asked Jose Navarro and Andrzej Ko?czyk to tell us what their days are like in an effort to help others prepare.

Both are at different stages of their data science careers, helping people in both fields. Not only will you understand what an expert Data Scientist does, but for those new to the industry, you will also understand what an entry-level Data Scientist does to become an expert.

So let’s learn more about what a Data Scientist does.

First we have Jose Navarro, a Data Scientist working at Qbiz. Here is what he had to say:

A day in the life of a data scientist: expert or beginner
Jose Navarro | LinkedIn

I consider myself very lucky to work as a data scientist. I think it’s a job like no other, allowing us to solve complex industry problems using statistics, powered by computing. I will describe here what my daily life is like, so you can get a better picture.

I work from home some days, and some days in the office, because I believe that face-to-face interaction with colleagues and the rest of the team is important for the development of projects and careers.

It’s a very flexible job, and it normally allows me to adapt my personal life to the needs of the project. If a good work-life balance is essential for you and for me, a career in data science is not a bad option.

If I’m working from home, I usually turn on my laptop at 9 a.m. after a quick run to school with my daughters. Then there will be between one and two hours of meetings. Meetings are crucial for the project, and good communication is essential to understand what the industry problem is, what is expected from each team member, how to find the solution or what the results are. A data scientist should be able to use their soft skills to communicate effectively and present to all types of project stakeholders, tailoring the language to the audience in each case.

The next part of the day is related to the technical skills of this work, the application of technologies such as Python, SQL, etc. Depending on the stage of the project, this part can vary greatly, from brainstorming, data visualization, data collection, data cleaning, labeling, statistical modeling, parameter tuning, etc.

Around 1 p.m. I stop and have lunch for 30-60 min. I make sure to stretch my legs and look away to rest my eyes. There’s no reason a data scientist can’t follow certain healthy habits. Health and fitness will help us with our hormone levels, with some work-related benefits, such as increasing our creativity and ability to focus.

I end the day around 6 p.m., making sure I have time to learn. I check for the latest trends and cutting-edge techniques using pages like KDNuggets and services like Kaggle, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Medium. One of the best things about being a data scientist is that learning is always encouraged. With an ever-changing environment around data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, keeping up to date really pays off (besides how exciting this world is).

No two days are alike and there are always new things to try and new problems to solve. Let’s build the data-driven future.

The next person who will tell us more about their daily life is Andrzej Ko?czyk, a data analyst who inspires to become a data scientist

A day in the life of a data scientist: expert or beginner
Andrzej Kończyk | LinkedIn

At the beginning, I would like to introduce myself briefly. Currently I am working as a data analyst and till Nov 2021 I had no knowledge related to data science/data analytics/data engineering. I graduated from a totally different study, but I’ve always been passionate about data. For this reason, in November 2021, I started the Data Science Bootcamp and started learning using additional online courses, tutorials. During my bootcamp course, I learned a lot about SQL, Tableau, and Python libraries, which now helps me understand and grow as a new member of the data science family.

This field is now so interesting for me, because I started to build my own ML models based on real data! I think data science is really the future and you can have a great time when you are still learning. In my opinion, it’s not the easiest area – sometimes you have to spend many hours to understand a problem and develop your ideas – but it’s really exciting. When you finally get results, maybe not the best at first – but you know you’ve made it. That’s exciting.

As I mentioned – I’m still a beginner, but I’d like to learn more and change my job from data analyst to data scientist soon. What do I need to achieve this? I think this will be good advice for anyone who would like to be part of our family: never give up, learn, read and finally keep progressing by carrying out your own projects. This is the most important part. During the creation of the model, you can always discover something new. Other things like tools like Tableau, SQL, etc. are also important, but you will also use them when doing projects 🙂

To sum it up: for me, data science is a fun and exciting opportunity that really impacts business in our world 🙂

I hope this has given you a better insight into what the two tiers of Data Scientists do, fulfilling their responsibilities, guidance, and more.

Nisha Arya is a data scientist and freelance technical writer. She is particularly interested in providing data science career advice or data science tutorials and theoretical knowledge. She also wants to explore the different ways that artificial intelligence is/can benefit the longevity of human life. A passionate learner, seeking to expand her technical knowledge and writing skills, while helping to guide others.

Sean N. Ayres