Data Scientists as Game Changers in Big Data Environments
The potential power of big data to generate insights and create new forms of value in the ways which transform organizations and society has been observed by big data-driven organizations and big data experts. Despite the recent sensational declaration of a data scientist as “the sexiest job of the 21st century”, however, there has been the lack of rigorous studies of what a data scientist is, and what job skill requirements this hottest job title may need. In order to address this gap, we systematically examine relevant source material to extract definitions and categorize them with a classification scheme developed to understand emergent roles and skills of data scientists. We conclude that the current lack of clear understanding and the growing skills shortage are key issues in realizing the potential benefits of big data in organizations through data scientists’ game changer roles, indicating important educational implications for our IS field.