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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy… of data.


Data isn’t exactly a recent invention. There’s been data since the beginning of time, but we just weren’t recording it. Now it’s everywhere and feels like the heart of everything. Those who work with data suddenly seem more in demand than ever.

Data roles have become blurred though. There is no agreed dictionary definition of what roles and responsibilities fall into each role – it will vary greatly at different companies or even departments. Everything used to come under the broad scope of Business Intelligence or Data Analyst. Now the data industry is recognising that roles are actually broken up into different areas – though those areas aren’t really that distinct. There are many roles –

Data Analyst. Data Scientist. Data Engineer. Big Data specialist.

I read the best term on someones Linkedin – Data Evanglist. Which I think is brill – they listed it as essentially good practice data consulting.

When trying to decide how I would describe my career to date, I would have to say “data person”. I did a mix of analyst, scientist, engineer and I did some of it using big data tools. I’ve done machine learning and propensity modelling or created an ETL pipeline when it’s been needed. I just do whatever I need to do with the data to get the job done.

Let’s hope that recruitment specialists look at skills and past experience instead of purely job title. Job titles definitely mean very little at the moment.

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