Which tool to learn for a better data science career

Some questions I get from new data scientists

I like R a lot, so should I work towards being better at just that or should I learn excel and python and sas as well (Like a jack of all master of none)?

I like R so much I wrote two books on it. Then I started writing a book on Python and now I am on writers block.

  1. You need to be good at many things (Python, R, SAS, Excel, SQL)
  2. You need to be really really good at one thing ( I prefer Python, but R or SAS could do. SAS people work in large corporations a lot, R people are more statistically driven, Python people are more Silicon Valley /IT driven. I would go with Python)
  3. You should know how data is stored ( in RDBMS and in NoSQL)
  4. You should know how data is processed (cloud computing, server)
  5. You should know how data is visualized ( GGPLOT, Qlikview, Tableau)
  6. You have a limited time to learn all this and again many choices. So try going for more education and more training!

Is it a thumb rule to know advanced analytics with Excel before actually aiming at R?

There are 8 fingers but two thumbs. Thumb rules are shortcuts. They save time (for instructor to explain). Yes I would learn how to analyze data in a spreadsheet too since a lot of employers use spreadsheets. Spreadsheets ( not juts Excel but OpenOffice and Google Docs) are used more than data science tools in analyzing data. Basic principles remain the same.

If I choose to begin with a job so I can get a feel of the industry and get to know it better they ask for all these tools with?

Of course industry wants people with 2 year work experience. Why should they pay you to learn? So learn skills before you expect jobs.

I found out that internships, kaggle competitions, certifications,case studies could help, but not yet in India is what I’ve come to see.. Is that true sir? Am I judging it wrong?

Wrong judging. Judging itself is wrong. Stop judging 1.2 billion people and millions of sq km.

I know many Meetups in India ( I founded one in New Delhi). Kaggle compeitors are great in Mumbai. Bangalore is great for coneferences. So yes, you are comparing to USA ( not fair, its better here because people just are more disciplined in organizing). if you compare to Pakistan we are better.

Best is to stop asking for help, and just go out and attend. Maybe create a Meetup group yourself ( takes only 10$ a month but again someone has to pay it!). Maybe create a desi meetup. Maybe create a Meetup only for Women. or only for New Comers. Or Ask your online education provider. Stop judging countries. Start volunteering. People like http://www.venturesity.com/ are doing a great job for hackthons in India. Meetups in Bangalore https://goo.gl/1wPta5

http://www.ushistory.org/documents/ask-not.htm

ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country. more meetups in data science. more hackathons. yup.  that is good enough work to start doing for your country.

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Author: Ajay Ohri

http://about.me/ajayohri

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