Many people ask what data science is all about. Surely, it is a new term that has become more widely used in the last few years as technology progressed to allow for analyzing large amounts of data that then required a new application of analytic methods.
Data science is a combination of mathematical and scientific skills that combine statistics, calculus and computer science. It emphasizes the exploration of data, especially since most of the data available now has only been created in the last few decades.
Data science is about discovering patterns, especially hidden patterns in the data. It's like being an archaeologist with a magnifying glass, looking at fossils that you didn't expect to find, but gives you clues on what could possibly have happened that produced the artifacts.
It's a different way to answer business questions since it goes beyond business intelligence and allows you to match different pieces of data, that was previously impossible to do because 1) data was not as abundant, 2) workflow and data storage was quite siloed, 3) processes were focused on providing broad observations rather than granular insights.
Data science anwers the "why" and "how" things happen. For example, you might notice that the total revenues of your business unit fluctuate across quarters. Data science can tell you why there are changes to revenue, what factors are affecting the drop, and how you can predict future revenues given the current state of the business.
It is an exciting field where we get exposed to cutting-edge technology and methods, as well as discover insights that help us learn more about people, businesses, and the world.