Data and Analytics / Tech

A Simple Guide to Data Engineers & Data Scientists

Image representing brainstorming

In the past few years, you’ve probably heard a lot about data related jobs. But what are they? What is it about data that requires a scientist AND an engineer? On the surface, both roles sound vaguely simple to understand. Don’t they just read data? Yes, but data is so complex that it requires more than reading numbers to understand. Data analytics and product building are everything now. From self driving cars to talking speakers, technology needs data. On the surface, both roles sound vaguely similar. Scientists? Engineers? The data scientist has become an especially prominent position in many companies. And on a quieter note, the data engineer is uniquely important when it comes to production. Together, they make a powerful data team.

What’s the difference?

Data scientists and data engineers share certain capabilities, but each position tips the scale with other skills. In the simplest terms, both jobs sound a bit like their non-data counterparts. Like a scientist, a data scientist uses scientific and mathematical methods to uncover specific insights from raw data. And like an engineer, a data engineer has the skillset to develop and design a final product. The collaboration solidifies the analytics. Once the data scientist has completed all necessary experiments and calculations, the data engineer makes sure the analysis is programmed and built to completion.

Even these general non-data jobs are very specialized jobs that require strong qualifications. Data scientists and engineers are no different. These roles are demanding but have low visibility The complexities of these jobs further iterate just how complicated data can be (and why these roles are so important).

You can’t have one without the other

Maybe you think that these roles are basically the same, after all, it’s just data. But data is just too complicated. A very strong collaborative balance is achieved with a sound foundation and a technical build (though some might say data engineers are more important nowadays). Neither role can fully exist without the other and there is no single person who can achieve the skills and hours needed by both.

Redefining data

10 years ago, you wouldn’t have known about data scientists or data engineers. That’s how much the world of data has changed in such a short period of time, creating brand new jobs along the way. Because of the growing technology and digitization of the world, data is endless. Even a decade ago, most of us probably didn’t think much about the future of data related jobs but here we are today in need of data engineers. The world is in high demand for data specialists but the supply is low. And while data continues to be unpredictable and forever changing, who knows what other roles will emerge in the near future.

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