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What is the most frustrating part of a data scientist's job?

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Julia’s Answer

Data science is an overall very rewarding career path! However, as with any jobs, there are ups and downs. Each company / experience is a different, but here are a few challenges I've encountered in my data science career:
- Access to data. Doing data science well, of course, is dependent on the amount and quality of data. If the data isn't available, isn't accessible (e.g., locked down by another group in/outside of your organization), doesn't contain the features you need, or isn't large enough, your job gets a lot harder. Often much of this is outside your control, which can be frustrating.
- Explaining what you do to non-technical audiences. Data science/predictive modeling is hard to understand! Clarifying the timeline/process of your work, limitations of your analyses, how to interpret results, etc. can be challenging when working with key stakeholders who are not data scientists.

If you're going into data science, chances are that you're excited by diving into data, writing code, and analyzing results. There's a lot more to being a data scientist in industry than that so it's important to anticipate these additional tasks and practice how to address them!
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Adit’s Answer

One of the most frustrating aspects of being in Data science would be the phase in which you are grappling with a problem and trying to find a solution and yet you do not seem to be getting anywhere. Either the data is not of good quality or the method you are using for prediction does not get you the results that you are looking for. All of this wears on your patience and you seem to be making no progress. However, it's an illusion that you are not making any progress, and eventually when you arrive at a solution that satisfies you, then you realize that all that waffling that you did on the problem was worth it.
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Muneer’s Answer

Data science is a very rewarding career. You can work independently and provide additional insights for business leaders to make game changing decisions. However, with any job, there are some frustrations.
1. Cleaning up bad data.
2. Properly defining the questions that other people want us to answer
3. Understanding unclear business processes and manual processes
4. Working with non-integrated systems
5. Data science is more than just modeling but its also engineering and analysis (ie extracting data and transforming data)
6. The need to have business acumen
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Sean’s Answer

Data science is an amazing career and in high demand right now. However, as with all jobs, there are definitely some challenges you will face. Three of the largest frustrations I have come across:

1) To be a data scientist, you also need to be able to data engineer - many people don't realize, but the majority of work a data scientist needs to do when solving a problem or building a model is actually preparing the data, blending data sources, creating features, etc. You will need to make sure you set expectations upfront with your team on how long this portion will take.
2) Identifying the actual business ask - a lot of times you will need to develop a model for a non-technical audience that might not be exactly clear on what the output will tell them. Spend the time upfront with your business counterparts to ensure the problem/question you are trying to solve is clearly laid out. Try to think about how will someone be able to action the results of the model.
3) Not all data is readily available and you will need to make some assumptions - ensure to assess the mission critical data upfront and understand if there are any pieces missing or that can be filled in using assumptions. Make sure those assumptions are aligned with the business team and clearly documented.

With all of these frustrations, the biggest piece of advice I would have is communicate. Communication is key - upfront, throughout, and at the end - the more collaboration you have, the better answer you will get to, and the more impact your work can have.
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Matt’s Answer

I agree with most answers that having access to quality data can be very frustrating. I would also add that it can be challenging when the outcome of a data science project is not acted on by the business. Part of this is the responsiblity of the data scientist; Our jobs don't end with the model or the analysis, we need to make sure that the business acts on our deliverables. At the same time, sometimes this is outside of our control and a great project ends up with minimal impact. To avoid this from happening, I suggest that 1) you strive for clarity on the business problem that you are trying to solve upfront, 2) you align with stakeholders on how your project will be acted on, 3) you hone your communication skills, and 4) stay persistent and postive!
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Joe’s Answer

Data Science is a super exciting field to be in, where conceptually data scientists would build machine learning or statistical models that would directly drive business impacts. In reality, building excellent model is essential and is the foundation of the work, but on top of that, the piece of communication and education with partners is equally important. Letting partners understand the model and leverage the model in the right way leads to unlock the full power of the model and thus the ultimate business impacts. The buy-in from partners and accurate execution are required to have successful projects, which can be a tough part of the data scientist lives.
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