What is Data Science?
Data science, is an interdisciplinary field that uses scientific processes and systems to create value based on extracting knowledge and insights from available data. Data may be structured or unstructured, big or small, static or streaming and may have many different formats (like numerical, text, images, spatial, …). Application areas are very diverse and are continuously growing in numbers (e.g. heath care, maintenance, logistics, IoT, mobility and many many more).
Data science uses state of the art mathematics and computer science methods such as statistics, machine learning, data mining and predictive analytics. This is combined with several application domains like humanities, ethics, operations, medicine and many more. As a result, data scientists learn to identify patterns and regularities in huge data stream, combine various data sources and answer questions with and accuracy and speed that were previously not possible. Therefore, data science is becoming an integral part of most types of engineering and scientific research.
Estimates are that that 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the past two years alone and the rate is only increasing. The world's data will grow by 50 times in the next 10 years! The EU estimates the size of its ‘data economy’ in 2020 will be over 600 bln euro, more than double the size of 2016.
Continuously, new technologies and businesses are emerging to organize and make sense of this avalanche of data. This requires new scientific breakthroughs and the education of many talented people. Many of the challenges our societies face may be addressed by examining (or protecting) available data.