Data is everywhere. The world generates some 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. Some people have said we are drowning in data and that may well be true. But we are starting to get better at making sense of massive amounts of data. Which brings me to the point of this article. Data science is going to become, if it hasn’t already, the most important skill in fintech.
Before we go any further we should define what we mean by data science. There is no standard definition but I like how NYU describes it:
At its core, data science involves using automated methods to analyze massive amounts of data and to extract knowledge from them.
Extracting knowledge is the key point here. We may be drowning in data but a skilled data scientist will be able to extract the useful parts of this data and discard all the noise. With so much data available today in all industries, particularly in finance, those companies that can extract useful and actionable knowledge will be the winners.
Chris Skinner penned this interesting piece last week claiming the critical importance of data in banking:
Data is the new air, and the banks that breathe the best will win. In other words, banks that really get data analytics, and can apply machine learning to gain deep customer insights are the ones that will survive.