The Art and Science of Learning from Data

Michigan tech applied stat The Art and Science of Learning from Data
Michigan tech applied stat The Art and Science of Learning from Data

While raw data is concrete and objective, the creative applications of that data are limitless. Learning from data is both science and art. The implications for today’s organizations are tremendous, and this is why data scientists are in such high demand.

Learn more about earning an online master’s in applied statistics at Michigan Technological University.

Why Data Matters

From industry, retail, and finance to healthcare and government, data is the force driving the future of organizations. Information mined from data provides intelligence for financial models, innovation, marketing, and production. With today’s technology, there is a voluminous amount of data available, and opportunities for utilizing that data are increasing at lightning speed.

The Power of Big Data

Big data is a big deal because of its potential. The term refers to the large amounts of information collected electronically by organizations—information that requires modern, sophisticated analysis. From this data, researchers can draw implications that affect the way organizations operate.

Retail businesses, for example, may collect consumer information from smartphones and other online devices. This data can be used to predict behavior, evaluate preferences, and analyze promotions. Targeted advertising uses data science to increase marketing effectiveness and drive sales.

Another example of using big data is in manufacturing. By analyzing production and distribution data, businesses improve efficiencies, reduce costs, and enhance quality. This fuels innovation and gives companies a competitive edge.

Even governmental agencies, healthcare providers, and nonprofits use big data. Insights learned from data aid in policy development, environmental advancements, medical research, and fundraising—just to name a few applications. New developments in big data are continually emerging.

Organizations of all sizes and industries can benefit from big data. Actually extracting and interpreting this data requires the art and science of learning from data, which translates to big career opportunities (source). Applied Statistics master’s programs prepare students for the demands of this expanding field.

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The Outcomes of Data Mining

Studying data and drawing useful applications from it require high levels of technical expertise, along with strategic thinking. The concept of data mining is not new, but in today’s context, the methods and possibilities for data mining are continually evolving.

Data mining is a computer science process that uses statistics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to interpret patterns and relationships in big data. Techniques include predictive modeling, descriptive modeling, pattern mining, and anomaly detection (source).

Organizations often use robust analysis tools to mine data, and data scientists are vital to develop and operate these systems.

DisplayR offers an online survey analysis tool to “discover the story in your data.” They serve companies like Nielson and Yahoo, and their vision is “to live in a world where evidence, rather than guesses and assumptions, drives decision-making” (source).

SAS provides advanced analytics software for international companies like Honda. Their goal is not just advanced technology but “how far it can advance your organization” (source ).

Data Science and the Value of Statistics

Statistics and data science are closely related. Both are engaged in learning from data. Data science is multidisciplinary with varied methods, and statistics is a critical component (source).

Data science and statistics are intricately connected. A leading textbook, Statistics: The Art and Science of Learning from Data, identifies many practical applications of statistics, such as:

  • Analyzing results of marketing studies
  • Predicting sales
  • Measuring employee performance
  • Studying investment opportunities
  • Evaluating medical treatments

Statistical applications are at the heart of data science. The authors of the textbook assert, “In a competitive job market, understanding statistics provides an important advantage” (source).

What Is the Future of Data Science Careers?

“Data scientist” nearly tops the list of “50 Best Jobs in America for 2019,” according to Glassdoor. This list weighs the median base salary, job satisfaction, and number of job openings to determine ranking (source).

The Bureau of Labor Statistics groups data scientists in the category of “mathematical and science occupations,” a grouping that also includes actuaries, operations research analysts, and statisticians. Some of today’s fastest-growing occupations are in the field of data science: information security analysts, statisticians, and mathematicians (source).

Recent reports show exceptionally high demand in the field of statistics, with broad opportunities and above-average salaries (source). U.S. News & World Report ranks statistician #1 in “Best Business Jobs” and #6 in “100 Best Jobs” (source).

Data science is critical for today’s organizations because of its role in shaping informed decisions and strategy. According to the BLS description, the role of data scientists includes these functions:

  • Design methods for translating data to develop conclusions and applications for the information studied
  • Draw out and interpret information from data using techniques such as data mining, data modeling, natural language processing, and machine learning
  • Interpret findings and present visual reports (source)

A successful data scientist requires a unique set of aptitudes including:

  • Expertise in structured and unstructured data
  • Proficiency in a complex range of technological platforms
  • Communication skills
  • Business knowledge
  • Intellectual curiosity (source)

What Are the Benefits of an Applied Statistics Master’s Programs?

For careers in mathematical sciences, the pathway to advancement begins with education. Projected employment growth for mathematicians and statisticians is 30 percent from 2018 to 2028, much higher than the average projected growth for all occupations (source). Jobs for mathematicians and statisticians typically require a master’s degree (source).

The Flexibility of Data Science Programs Online

Earning a master’s degree online allows students the convenience of completing coursework from a distance and continuing to work while in school. Tools like video conferencing, live streaming, and interactive technologies facilitate communication and provide access to course materials.

Michigan Tech’s online master’s in applied statistics provides the same rigorous education as onsite programs. Students earn the same diploma that carries the same value as traditional programs.

What You’ll Learn in an Applied Statistics Master’s Program

An online master’s in applied statistics from Michigan Tech is a multidisciplinary program that includes mathematical sciences as well as computer science, business. The program keeps pace with current trends, allows students opportunities to practice skills, and integrates experiential projects.

Michigan Tech’s online master’s in applied statistics is grounded in the core competencies of traditional statistical techniques, predictive modeling, data mining, and statistical software. The program also prepares students to excel in the workplace by emphasizing communication skills and business acumen.

Your Next Step in Applied Statistics

Are you ready to explore the multi-faceted world of data science? Learn more about starting your educational pathway with an online master’s in applied statistics.

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