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"To Be or Not To Be A Statistician" Is that the question for a Data Scientist?

I am a recent member to this online DataScienceCentral online site. It is an amazing learning process for me during my retirement. There are issues and topics that are familiar but there are even more that are unfamiliar to me. Being an Applied Statistician by training as well as by practicing, I have had the opportunity to interact and work with professionals from various disciplines. This global forum is posting many articles, discussions, videos, comments etc.  from several disciplines that  collectively form an astonishingly rich environment for learning the Data Science. 

I feel there is a a question that stands out in many discussions. Most agree that there should be a role of a professional in processing and analyzing the vast amount of data stream being generated by various data sources. Who should be in that role? The roles of trained computer scientists are indispensable and we all agree to that whole heartedly.  But then What does a Data Scientist do? 

There are discussions on who will be a ' Perfect' Data Scientist ? 

Many agree that such a perfect person might be hard to come by.

But almost all agree that the person must have some knowledge in Statistics, not only that but very specific knowledge that may satisfy the rules of  Analytics and various other qualifications. That person has to wear hats of many kinds.  

This is what puzzles me a little. Can someone predict ahead of time what Statistical Tool to use, without having some basic idea about the nature of the data? Whether it is traditional Statistics or Data Science, whether a small sample or a big sample or a big data, every data analyst must have some idea about the nature of the incoming Data. The roles of Statistics and a Statistician is being viewed differently. I have no problem with that. Frankly, I think it is different.  

 I suppose there are other responsibilities for a Data Scientist to perform. That is where I am having little comprehension block. There seems to be quite a few discussions on the Statistics and Statistical Software, but what is the bigger role of a Data Scientist? I hope it is not just "To be or Not to Be a Statistician? "

Love to hear about your views. 

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The role of the Data Scientist is to be the value creator - the bridge between Statistician/Computer Engineer/etc. and key decision makers. It is s/he who can turn data into actionable intelligence and then in an appropriate and plausible manner recommend and persuade the firm to take the right course of action, all based on sound statistical modeling approaches. That is how I reconcile the blending of disparate skill sets (statistics, programming, business acumen) into the ideal role of Data Scientist.

I appreciate your view on the role of a Data Scientist. I will concur with it except on one point. I can visualize the bridge between the Data Scientist, the Computer expert and the decision maker. But where will be  is an additional  Statistician located to form the bridge if none is  there,  except the Data Scientist to function as one?

Or are we thinking of a Statistician at large assuming a role of a consultant or an expert? 

Or did I miss the point that one person, the Data Scientist  him/her self  is 'THE bridge' ?

I am still puzzled. 

I think Data Scientist is a bridge between statistician and computer scientist who needs special training to obtain skills set for data analysis/business intelligence. For training a data scientist should be exposed to data in different domains. I obtained my training from my PhD.

Thank you for your input. So far I understand that,

1. The role of a Data Scientist is NOT  to be a Professional Statistician but have reasonably good knowledge of Statistics. 

2. He or she will act as a bridge between the Computer Professional and also have some ( I think substantial)  computer knowledge too.

3. Must have training and background in Business Intelligence to communicate with the decision maker (management?)

I am clear on these  facts, but I have to know

4. Who does the Data Scientist report to? 

I am  trying to know the new world of Statistical applications. Not looking for a job now that I am retired and believe in  life long learning. 



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