Data scientists see messy, disorganized data as a major hurdle preventing them from doing what they find most interesting in their jobs: predictive analysis and data mining for behavioral patterns and future trends, according to a new report from CrowdFlower, a data enrichment platform provider.
A majority of the 153 CrowdFlower online research panel members surveyed (80%) also acknowledged the skills shortage within their field. The respondents work for companies of varied sizes and sectors, mostly in the U.S. All respondents have the term “data scientist” in their job title or job description on LinkedIn, CrowdFlower says.
The 2015 Data Scientist Report also shows that 16% of data scientists say have been working in this field for 10 years or more, suggesting that “data science” is a new term that describes something IT professionals have been doing for many years.
Other key findings of the report: Two-thirds of respondents say cleaning and organizing data is the least interesting and most time-consuming task, taking time away from more preferred tasks such as predictive analysis and data mining; nearly 79% are satisfied in their jobs, with almost one-third finding their position “totally awesome,” but noting that their organizations can still do more to better equip them.
Data scientists say organizations can empower data science teams by providing the proper tools to do their job better (cited as a solution by 54% of survey respondents) and setting clearer goals and objectives on projects (cited by 52%).
“We know that data scientists are valuable for their companies, but there's still a disconnect between what they actually do and what they want to do,” Lukas Biewald, co-founder and CEO of CrowdFlower, said in a statement. “At the end of the day, the time they invest in cleaning data is time that could be better spent doing strategic, creative work like predictive analysis or data mining. If companies can give data scientists some of that data cleaning time back, they'll have happier teams that can focus on really exciting things.”