Jan. 27, 2023
Data Science is a rapidly growing field and is becoming more and more in demand by organizations around the world. Aspiring data scientists and professionals from other fields are looking for ways to jumpstart their data science journey in order to stay competitive in the industry. To help them achieve this goal, this blog will present an end-to-end data science roadmap for data science aspirants to follow in 2023.
This roadmap will cover the essential topics and skills needed to become a successful data scientist and will provide a starting point for those wanting to break into the data science industry. Furthermore, this blog will discuss the various resources and tools available for data science aspirants to use and will provide an overview of the current data science landscape.
In the following sections, I will provide an overview of the data science roadmap, discuss the topics and skills required, and outline the available resources and tools.
Data science roadmap outline:
- Python programming language fundamentals
- Statistics and mathematics essentials
- Data wrangling and visualization
- SQL programming languages and MySQL data warehouse
- Machine learning
- Deep learning
- NLP concepts and techniques
- Portfolio projects
- Interview prep and job application
1. Python programming language fundamentals
Python is one of the most widely used programming languages today. It is named one of the most popular programming languages according to the StackOverflow developers' survey in 2022.
Here is the list of fundamentals one should learn:
- Basic data types: int, float, str, bool
- Variables and assignment operators
- Control flow statements: if-else statements, for and while loops
- Functions and modules
- Lists, tuples and arrays
- Dictionaries and sets
- Exception handling
- Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) concepts such as classes, objects, methods, and inheritance
- File input/output operations
- Basic regular expressions
2. Statistics and Mathematics essentials
After learning Python programming, you should learn statistics and mathematics essentials to learn the data science tech stack and become a proficient data scientist.
- Descriptive statistics: measures of central tendency (mean, median, mode), measures of variability (range, standard deviation, variance), and measures of shape (skewness, kurtosis).
- Probability: basic probability concepts such as conditional probability, Bayes’ theorem, and random variables. Along with that probability distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing, and Bayesian methods are a must
- Inferential statistics: concepts such as estimation, hypothesis testing, p-values, and confidence intervals.
- Linear algebra: concepts such as vectors, matrices, and matrix operations, are important for understanding linear regression and other machine learning algorithms.
- Calculus: concepts such as gradient, partial derivatives, and optimization, are important for understanding ML algorithms.
- Multivariable Calculus: concepts such as gradients, Jacobian, Hessian, and optimization, which are important for understanding neural networks and other machine learning algorithms.
- Time series analysis: concepts such as moving averages, exponential smoothing, ARIMA models
3. Data wrangling and data visualization
Data wrangling and data manipulation is a crucial skill to develop as a data scientist. Python has a wide range of libraries to perform a variety of data manipulation tasks and visualize data distributions to find key insights from your datasets.
Python libraries such as Pandas, NumPy, seaborn, matplotlib, plotly, sklearn, and scipy one should master to become an expert in data wrangling and visualizations.
Here are some tasks and libraries under this step:
- Data wrangling: This includes tasks such as cleaning, transforming, and merging data from various sources. Data scientists should be proficient in using libraries such as Pandas and NumPy for these tasks.
- Data exploration: This includes tasks such as identifying patterns, outliers, and anomalies in data. Data scientists should be proficient in using libraries such as Matplotlib and Seaborn for data visualization and exploration.
- Data transformation: This includes tasks such as normalization, encoding categorical variables, and scaling data. Data scientists should be proficient in using libraries such as sklearn for these tasks.
- Feature engineering: This includes creating new features from existing data, selecting the most relevant features, and handling missing data.
- Data visualization: Data scientists should be proficient in creating various types of visualizations, such as line charts, bar charts, scatter plots, heat maps, and more, using libraries such as Matplotlib and Seaborn.
- Data storytelling: Data scientists should be able to present data insights and findings to non-technical stakeholders in a clear and compelling way.
4. SQL programming language and MySQL database
Along with Python, data scientists should also be proficient in SQL programming language to store and manipulate relational databases in order to work with a vast amount of data.
Here are key SQL concepts to master as a data scientist:
- SELECT statement: used to query and retrieve data from a database table.
- JOIN clause: used to combine rows from multiple tables based on a related column between them.
- GROUP BY clause: used to group rows based on one or more columns, and perform aggregate functions such as SUM, COUNT, and AVG.
- WHERE clause: used to filter rows based on a certain condition.
- SUBQUERY and INNER JOIN: used to combine data from multiple tables and filter the results.
- INDEXING: used to improve the performance of queries by creating an index on one or more columns of a table.
- CREATE and ALTER statements: used to create and modify the structure of tables and other database objects.
- INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE statements: used to insert, update and delete data in a table.
- Advanced concepts like window functions, common table expressions (CTEs), and stored procedures
5. Machine learning using sci-kit learn
Machine learning is no doubt an integral part of any data science processes across industries. Once you have a good grasp of the python programming language and its libraries then you should learn hands-on machine learning using the scikit learn library.
Here are some key concepts and skills that will help you master machine learning using scikit-learn:
- Supervised learning: concepts such as regression and classification, and algorithms such as linear regression, logistic regression, and decision trees.
- Unsupervised learning: concepts such as clustering and dimensionality reduction, and algorithms such as k-means, hierarchical clustering, and PCA.
- Model evaluation: techniques such as training and testing sets, cross-validation, and metrics such as accuracy, precision, recall, and F1-score.
- Hyperparameter tuning: techniques such as grid search and random search, to optimize the performance of a machine learning model.
- Feature selection and engineering: techniques to select the most relevant features and create new features from existing data.
- Pipelines: techniques to chain multiple steps of a machine learning process, such as data preparation, feature selection, and model training, into a single scikit-learn estimator
- Ensemble methods: concepts such as bagging and boosting, and algorithms such as Random Forest and Gradient Boosting
- Neural Networks: understanding the concepts and usage of MLP and other neural network architectures
6. Deep learning using Keras
Deep learning is a powerful technique one should learn as a data scientist. As a data scientist, you may have to tackle unstructured data like images, text, video, etc. wherein deep learning techniques play a crucial role.
Here are some key deep-learning techniques that data scientists should learn using Keras:
- Artificial neural networks: concepts such as feedforward networks, backpropagation, and activation functions.
- Convolutional neural networks (CNNs): used for image classification and object recognition tasks
- Recurrent neural networks (RNNs): used for sequential data, such as text and time series
- Autoencoders: used for unsupervised feature learning and dimensionality reduction
- Generative models: such as Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and Variational Autoencoders (VAEs)
- Transfer learning: techniques for using pre-trained models, such as VGG or ResNet, to improve performance on a new task
- Hyperparameter tuning: techniques such as grid search and random search, to optimize the performance of a deep learning model.
- Tensorboard: to visualize the training and performance of a deep learning model
7. Natural language processing (NLP) techniques and concepts
NLP is a sub-field of machine learning which leverages analysis, generation, and understanding of human languages in order to derive meaningful insights from it.
Here are some key NLP concepts and techniques that data scientists should learn:
- Text pre-processing: Techniques such as tokenization, stemming, and lemmatization, to convert raw text into a format that can be easily analyzed.
- Text feature extraction: Techniques such as bag-of-words, n-grams, and word embeddings, to represent text as numerical features for use in machine learning models.
- Text sort: Techniques for classifying text into predefined categories, such as sentiment analysis and spam detection.
- Named entity recognition: Techniques for identifying and extracting named entities from text, such as people, organizations, and locations.
- Part-of-speech tagging: Techniques for identifying the parts of speech of words in a sentence, such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives.
- Text generation: Techniques for generating new text based on a given input, such as machine translation and text summarization.
- Text-to-Speech and Speech-to-Text: Techniques for converting speech to text and text to speech.
- Advanced concepts like Attention-based models, Transformers, and BERT
8. Machine learning model deployment
Most data science jobs require a high level of skill in developing quality machine learning models but having a good understanding and some experience in deploying models would give you an edge as a data scientist.
- Model serving: Techniques for serving machine learning models in a production environment, such as using a REST API or a dedicated model server.
- Containerization: Techniques for packaging machine learning models and dependencies into a container, such as Docker, to ensure consistent and reproducible deployments.
- Cloud deployment: Techniques for deploying machine learning models on cloud platforms, such as AWS SageMaker, Azure Machine Learning, and Google Cloud ML Engine.
9. Portfolio projects
After learning all the skills, now is the time to build portfolio projects to showcase to potential recruiters your skills and expertise in subjects.
Here are some examples that I've work on:
- Predicting road accident severity
- Energy intensity prediction
- Wild-blue berry prediction
- Patient survival prediction
- Cyberbullying detection using NLP techniques
- Next-word prediction project
10. Interview prep and job application
Now it’s time to prepare for interviews as a data scientist and apply for jobs that are suitable for you.
Here are a few tips for data science job interviews:
- Understand the company and the job: Research the company and the specific role you are applying for to understand their goals, values, and the type of work they do.
- Brush up on key skills: Review and practice the key skills required for the job, such as programming languages, statistical analysis, and machine learning techniques.
- Prepare for common interview questions: Be prepared to answer common data science interview questions such as “what is your experience with X technique” or “how would you solve this problem.”
- Practice data-based questions: Be ready to answer data-based questions and data analysis problems, such as “how would you analyze this dataset” or “what is your approach to building a model.”
- Be able to explain your work: Be able to explain your past projects and the methods you used in a clear and concise manner.
- Show your passion: Show your enthusiasm for data science and your willingness to learn and grow in the field.
- Be prepared to ask questions: Prepare a list of thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer about the company, the role, and the team you will be working with.
Finally, don’t forget to check out some of the courses on the sidebar of this web page to accelerate your learning and get certified by the best institutions.