Digital Transformation Hub

Mar 13 1 min

Generalists vs. Specialists in Data Science and Analytics

“In the Data Science and Analytics community, specialists are heavily favored over generalists — that’s just the way it is. We inherently believe that more specialization is a sure-fire way to guarantee success in a role or for a business outcome. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. While specialists are excellent at re-producing work that they are well-practiced at, sometimes they struggle to navigate uncharted territory where rules are not well defined. Ironically, many business roles, especially ones at small and nimble companies, require just such a skill — the ability to deal with ambiguity, uncertainty, and lack of clear rules. It’s in ambiguity where the generalist shines — they have a wide range of interests and have probably worked in many different types of jobs and industries. But while their career path might seem chaotic on paper, in truth it provides a vast array of experience that can be called upon for problem-solving — which is the bread and butter of data science and analytics.”

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