How to get started with data science?

Original article can be found here (source): Artificial Intelligence on Medium

How to get started with data science?

What do you think you need in order to excel at data science?

It is a hot topic and has been a buzz word for the last few years. However, what most people are unaware about is the fact that data science in essence a culmination of the familiar concepts from mathematics, more specifically statistics, logical reasoning and some technological capabilities.

Some of the algorithms that the data scientists use as a part of their machine learning models are relatively new to the professional world. However, these have been around for decades. The academic community has been studying, developing and improving these algorithms.

One important thing to keep in mind is that the analytical jargon is hyped and things can turn out much easier to understand if approached logically.

My approach to data science has been the following:

Problem solving.

Data science is a combination of art and science to extract information and insights from data. But it not without purpose. Keeping the objective in mind and trying to solve the problem should do the trick.

Logic is essential.

If you never abandon logic, navigating through the labyrinth to arrive at the solution to the problem will be so much simpler. Try augmenting your thoughts with real world implications.

Break it down.

Every problem can be solved by using a structured approach. Personally, this has helped me the most while dealing with vaguely described problem statements.

Visualize.

A little unconventional way to help you understand the concepts and troubleshoot your problems is to visualize the process. Concepts like scaling, cross-validation and feature engineering can be figured out by visualizing the processes in your head.

Brainstorm and discuss.

Bounce ideas off the community, friends, colleagues. It helps develop a better and in-depth understanding of the concept. More importantly, try to explain to somebody who is not familiar with the ABC of data science.

Compete.

Participate in data science competitions, hackathons and challenges to keep up the interest and also apply your knowledge and thought process to real world problems.

Seek help.

Be comfortable with the fact that you do not and cannot know everything. It would be wise to not be hesitant to seek help whenever and wherever required.

Trust yourself.

There will come a time when the feedback might not be favorable. It is prudent to identify constructive feedback and learn from it and shut out the noise.

Getting started is easy. But persisting with it takes effort.

“To begin, begin.” – William Wordsworth