What is data science? What is a data scientist? And what does it take to become one? These were just some of the questions put to the hosts of the DatSci Awards 2016.

Data Science Week

The first ever DatSci Awards were doled out in September but even before the glitz and glamour of this data science celebration, we sat down with the leaders of the organisations behind it: Linda Davis, CEO of Next Generation recruitment agency and Edward McDonnell, director of CeADAR, the Centre for Applied Data Analytics Research.

The DatSci Awards were created to recognise and reward companies, teams and individuals deemed to be the best in a field that Davis said is “impacting virtually everything in the business world as it stands”.

“It’s really only emerging,” she said. “And it’s evolving day by day.”

Emerging as a key force driving all sorts of decision-making, data science has prompted the development of a new “job family” in recruitment, as Davis puts it.

McDonnell added that the Irish jobs market – particularly in Dublin – is “hot for data science”, with businesses from indigenous SMEs to multinational corporations recruiting in this area.

Words by Elaine Burke