The ever-expanding ripples within the world of data science

2 Oct 2015

As’s Data Science Week comes to a close, one thing is undeniably clear: data science is immense. Almost too immense to fathom. And the ripples passing from the data science sector to other industries are countless.

Data Science Week saw cover everything from the announcements of data science jobs at Accenture and IBM to how data science relates to rugby, with a whole lot in between.

We talked to Ray Walshe of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, who gave advice to those interested in founding a data science start-up.

To illustrate how in-demand data science expertise is, we dove into the fish-eat-fish world of big companies that buy-out smaller data science firms – often start-ups – with a view to creating or improving their own data science offerings.

We took a detailed look at Boole start-up of the week Showtime Analytics, heard about the good fortunes of Kerry start-up Mobacar, and briefly profiled 20 other Irish start-ups, each of which is proof of data science’s enduring growth. Truly this is a sector full of innovation.

The nuts and bolts

Nowhere was that clearer than in our A-Z of Data Science, an in-depth look at some of the nuts and bolts of the industry, including many of the innovative uses businesses are finding for data of all types, stripes and sizes.

Those uses range from the creation of maps and infographics, to interactive sports analytics tools, to uncovering the data in nutrition and health.

We saw that data science is immensely pervasive and almost limitlessly fluid in intent – there is no one set of rules or practices. Different schools of thought find different priorities, and research and development is expanding in every direction.

The challenges

With that expansion comes a few challenges.

Data protection is a significant issue in the realms of data science.

Law firm Mason Hayes & Curran has long been discussing how data protection legislation needs to change as the world of data science expands.

A think tank at last month’s Predict conference looked at how we should be drafting legislation to make people’s online data more secure.

We also put together some videos from Predict, which looked at some of those challenges, but also examined some of the more positive developments to come out of data science.

The influencers

Over the week, we heard from and spoke to a number of people at the top-end of the data science ladder.

We put together a list of who you should be following on Twitter if you have an interest in data science.

Robert Gentz, CEO of online fashion retailer Zalando, spoke to us about how data science is at the core of the new Zalando.

The CEO of Aon’s Centre of Innovation and Analytics (ACIA), Todd Curry, espoused the virtues of data science as a tool for clear and effective storytelling.

And Google’s Ronan Harris told us that students need to be taught computer science at all levels, because data-driven careers are the future.

Careers in data science

We also took a look at careers in data science.

Hays Recruitment told us how the role of data scientist has changed over the years, and how there is still room to grow within the industry.

We found out which employers are hiring data scientists right now, and what you need to do to impress them.

We spoke to Diego Paton, a software engineer at AOL, who told us what it’s like to work at a company so heavily involved with data science.

We also lightened the seriousness of Data Science Week a little, by pulling together some jokes and memes that should appeal to anyone who knows anything about statisticians. (And they’re pretty funny even if you don’t.)

What’s next?

So Data Science Week gave us an in-depth look at the world of data science. What’s next?

Well, if you’re interested in the ongoing development of the Internet of Things (IoT), you’re going to love next week.

During IoT Makers Week (5 to 9 October), will be delving into the fascinating arena of IoT, looking at how the integration of tech into the everyday is changing the world.’s Data Science Week brings you special coverage of this rapidly growing field from 28 September to 2 October 2015. Don’t miss an entry worth your analysis by subscribing to our news alerts or following @siliconrepublic and the hashtag #DataScienceWeek on Twitter.

Main image via Shutterstock

Kirsty Tobin was careers editor at Silicon Republic