Given that arithmetic is a wellspring of worry for a lot of people, one would expect that data can never be a well of honey. But contrary to popular belief, data science is fast becoming needed in all facets of life. Netflix suggests movies to you and they are exactly what you love, Google shows you search results like it reads your mind, Facebook brings you targeted ads and you wonder how Mark knows your wants. Count it! The present and the future rest on data science. Everywhere you turn, you see the application of data. Especially to governments and profit organisations, data science has turned into a useful asset.  However, talks on how data and its analysis can profit individuals are not so popular.

There are many benefits to being a data scientist. Significant is that richly-paid data science roles are getting progressively more popular. According to MyJobMag, Data scientist jobs in Nigeria are turning out to be increasingly mainstream and are fast topping the list of fastest-growing jobs. Apart from the wide use of data science, its broad fields and specializations even make it more promising. But although there is a job for everyone — the storyteller, the data engineer, and even the analyst, concentrations in data mining and AI atop the leaderboard.

The many opportunities in choosing data science as a career can but mean one thing — data science has a high level of job security. Data scientists can be sure of guaranteed employment as freelancers or corporate employees. Whatever your proficiency level currently is, choosing and mastering data science as a career means that you will have many relevant and rewarding options to choose from. Since the field is so expansive and widely-needed, you may decide to dabble or seriously become or involve in:

  • Data analyst
  • Data mining
  • Machine Intelligence and Automation
  • Business Analyst
  • Forecasting
  • Data Architect

Data science as a career also comes with an enviable leeway. A data scientist can move through different roles and even through different companies without major disruptions. More like a data scientist can taste the different soup and eat from many pots. From working in the local healthcare sector to joining global marketing firms and tech-based companies for trend analysis and insights.

Working alone as a data scientist
Data science affords you the freedom to work alone. Source: Unsplash

This likewise prompts flexibility in deciding how you will work. Whether you are a lone cruncher or a data scientist who values teams, you will have the opportunity to pick the best work structure for you. While in a team environment you can work with other data professionals, working alone makes you work at your own pace and take decisions by yourself. No matter what data science track you are, you will have the option to pick what sort of system works best for you. 

Gain These Skills As A Data Scientist

Choosing a path in Data science can help you either gain new strengths or better the latent ones. We are quick to consider skills in complex maths, algorithms, and programming as being required from data scientists, however, data science includes significantly more than just hard maths and number-crunching abilities. The following analytical skills are far-reaching in importance too:

  • Logical reasoning
  • Creativity
  • Research
  • Communication

Data science can be learnt just like you learn how to ride a bicycle too. However, while in the case of bicycle riding you do not need to understand the physics behind bikes, in data science, it takes understanding large numbers, visualisation, and compelling communicative abilities to be a pro.

Regardless of what role you wish to play, data analytics requires wide-ranging skills. As a data scientist, you will be combining the meticulousness of mathematicians and statisticians, the creativity of UI experts, with the intrigues of journalists and storytellers, the thoroughness of researchers, and the acumen of business administrators — all in you. These skills are needed so you can effectively make your clients understand the world they live in and use this understanding to make wise decisions — personal and business.

Hence, choosing data science as a career will not only — in Nigerian speak — bless your purse but help you at every other crossroads. Gaining any of this wide exhibit of abilities will empower you to pick diverse roles later on or evolve and grow in a career that you've chosen. The multidisciplinary nature of data science makes it a top choice for whoever loves occupational flexibility.

Data has become the very lubricant of every institution. It is expected that its relevance will only increase in Nigeria. This means that data scientist jobs in Nigeria will keep rising and data practitioners will remain highly-sought.

The knowledge of data science can also be personalised. As an entrepreneur, basic knowledge in data types, data cleaning, and analysis can be the magic in your venture. You can take basic lessons in data science to improve your business intelligence, trends analysis, and engender cutting-edge business innovations and decisions.

A diagram of the data science process
Data science starts with the data and ends in values. It is the trick to wiser decisions. Source: VisualHunt

You can also explore analytics programmes such as Tableau, Google Analytics, and Qlik to receive insights into the performance of your business and generate comprehensible reports from your business data. These results can prompt modifications in your brand identities, product design, and even corporate values and culture. They can also point to you where you are doing well and where you will be needing help.

Currently, Nigeria is a greatly populated country with projections of increase. This means that data will abound, and businesses, individuals, and governments will prefer to process these data to gain useful insights than leave them lying around. Consequently, that means high demand for Big Data analysts and data crunchers.

Similarly, the rise in the popularity of AI and the belief that AI can foster growth will increase the demand for machine learning engineers in Nigeria. By and large, whether you intend to pursue data science as a career or just want to understand how data works so that you can utilise your small-scale business data, there are many benefits therein in working with data.

Meanwhile, if you desire to become an expert in the field of data, you may spice things up by learning more sophisticated but related skills in machine learning, artificial neural networks, and labour-saving technology. With these, you are neck-deep in the world of data.

Learn To Take Better Decisions Through Data Science

Aside from the high benefits and career prospects that are in choosing data science as a career, there are equally enough personal uses of the knowledge of data analytics. More so, since the reality is that many institutions are becoming largely data-driven, understanding how data can be milked for value will help you comprehend the world around you better. 

Such basic understanding can be fetched from reading blog posts on data science, reading journals and industry publications, or even following a thought-leader on social media. Through these, you can gain sufficient information and hacks on data science that can help your personal and business decisions.

Building some muscles in data analytics can help you understand previously difficult aspects of the world you live in. Building skills like logical reasoning and communication can enable you to reach probable relevant conclusions from news and events and present complex issues in a clear, interesting way that many will understand.

Regardless of what type of job you hold, learning the skills of analytics is helpful. More so, data science isn't rocket science. With the right dose of passion and effort, you can learn enough to become a better decision taker for yourself and your community. For instance, as an aid worker, data science can be used to highlight places most needing social welfare aids. For an advertiser, the application may be different — helping to measure ad. campaigns. But an entrepreneur will prefer to use data science to uncover business opportunities and consumer preferences. Different strokes for different folks.

Even journalism which used to be a purely liberal arts and humanities degree is beginning to find its feet in social sciences. With the advent of data journalism, newsmen now have a cause to learn how data work. Journalists now work with large numbers from budgetary figures to politicians' expenses and poll results. Journalists use software such as Power BI to visualize often incomprehensible phenomena and policies. 

Also, the knowledge of data can be useful in keeping governments responsible. A data-savvy society can be difficult to oppress and mislead. Numbers can be used to question assertions and ordinary statements. Number speak volumes but only the truth.

Data can help check oppression
With data, governments can be kept responsible and accountable. Source: Unsplash

On the whole, the knowledge of data and its analysis has become an important acquisition and a great asset to individuals, companies, and governments. Data scientist jobs in Nigeria, like elsewhere, keep increasing in number and pay. Existing disciplines are embracing the possibilities of using data, AI, and machine learning to upscale their practices and governments are exploring ways to use data science to work and enhance matters of legislation, defence and security, healthcare, among others. So, are you still asking why you should bother with data science?


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A Nigerian freelance SEO Writer-cum-Editor and 2019 Writing Fellow of ALWF who blends creativity with rich content to produce sterling copy — persuasive, informative, or expository. He loves nature and trains in Karate, and he loves to help others grow — individuals and brands.