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A Brief History of Data Science

January 18, 2018

 

One of the greatest misconceptions surrounding data science is that it is a brand new industry. It isn’t. In fact, it’s been around for more than 50 years. And it’s taken that amount of time for it to grow in popularity and to become one of the fastest-growing, in-demand occupations in the world. Because of how important data science is in my day-to-day life, I wanted to walk through its history and cover a few very important moments.

 

Here is a brief history of data science.

 

1962: John W. Tukey reveals, in the novel “The Future of Data Analysis,” that he is not a statistician, but instead, a data analyst. He also went on quite a bit on the importance of data science and analysis. He also goes on to ask how important is the stored-program electronic computer. As we all know from living in today’s technologically-driven world, it’s very important. Even vital.

 

1974: Concise Survey of Computer Methods is written by Peter Naur. The book discusses the then-contemporary methods of processing data and information, and how it could be used in practical purposes. In short, the book explained how important and beneficial data analysis can be.

 

1977: The International Statistical Institute (ISI) creates the International Association for Statistical Computing (IASC) in the hopes to, as they put it, “link traditional statistical methodology, modern computer technology, and the knowledge of domain experts in order to convert data into information and knowledge.”

 

1994: An article in BusinessWeek on how major corporations are collecting information on consumers in order to market their products better. Unfortunately, several companies were underprepared for the sheer amount of data coming in and were unable to actually do anything with the information.

 

2002: The Data Science Journal is launched. The publication provides articles on how data and information are managed in science and technology.

 

2011: David Smith writes an article discussing the term “data science” and how it has taken off and become incredibly popular. He also discusses how companies are starting to realize the potential of data science and how businesses are hiring specifically for data scientists.

 

This was a very brief history of data science. It’s impossible to truncate more than 50 years into a few words. With that being said, stay tuned for part two, where I will reveal even more pieces of data science’s deep and storied history.

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© 2018 by Alastair Majury. Providing Change Management services in the United Kingdom and overseas. Contact Majury1981@gmail.com or visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/alastair-majury/