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Date:         Tue, 29 Nov 2011 14:43:24 -0500
Reply-To:     Talbot Michael Katz <topkatz@MSN.COM>
Sender:       "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         Talbot Michael Katz <topkatz@MSN.COM>
Subject:      Data Science, Data Scientists, and SAS


This past June, SAS invited some large Enterprise Miner users to Cary for a "free workshop." Attendance was sparse because, well, how likely is it that your employer would pay your travel expenses these days to go receive a two-day marketing blitz? Thought so... Anyway, during a presentation on SAS' new in-database analytics initiative, the speaker asked whether anyone was using Hadoop. When no hands went up, the response was a relieved "That's good!" As usual, I'm late to the party, that was the first time I heard the term "Hadoop." My friends, it has not been the last time...

Over the summer I started to receive job postings from recruiters with the job title of "Data Scientist." This was also new to me. I must have seen more than half a dozen separate places seeking these data scientists. It certainly trumped the number of places I saw seeking data miners and / or statisticians. So, what is a data scientist? is-a-data-scientist_b24193 Whether or not you have the job title of "data scientist" you may recognize yourself in the description. But when the specific data science skills are listed, you're way more likely to see Hadoop mentioned than SAS. (Hadoop is not a competitor to SAS the way R is, but it's part of the new open source big data landscape.)

Now, I'm not presently seeking a job (although, given current economic conditions and my spotty employment history, who knows how soon that could change?), but this has drawn my attention, because certain kinds of analytic positions (outside of financial engineering) have long been firmly inside the SAS realm, and that appears to be changing. At least SAS is not oblivious to this development -- hence their high-performance computing / in-database analytics initiatives, and their attempt at peaceful coexistence with R.

So, do any of you SAS-Lers now carry the title of "data scientist?"

-- TMK -- "The Macro Klutz"

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