Many have claimed recently that multifaceted data scientists are mythical beings, as impossible to find as unicorns. This itself is a myth, and a dangerous one at that.

Hype is cyclic. A new idea excites people, exaggerated claims are made (and often believed), and the idea takes on bigger-than-life proportions. Eventually, however, reality sets in, and a critical backlash begins. There is a strong tendency to take the criticism seriously, much more than the initial hype. However, just as the goodness of the original idea ballooned wildly during the boom, the critique gets overstated significantly during the bust. The clear-eyed observer will avoid getting taken in by either of these sides of the hype cycle and move quickly to the “plateau of productivity,” but it is hard to see through the smoke and mirrors.

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