Data scientists impactful change agents; Airtel hires former NASA exec as Chief Data Scientist

The data scientists are becoming more impactful agents of change and they are mostly leading the digital transformation, in all sectors including large enterprises, government sector and start-ups.

India's top telecom operator Bharti Airtel has appointed Santanu Bhattacharya as Chief Data Scientist. The former NASA executive's appointment is speculated to expedite efforts around emerging technologies like IoT, AI and VR.

Bhattacharya has a B.Tech from IIT, Bombay and PhD in Physics from University of Maryland/ NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Change agents, highly in demand

The data scientists are becoming more impactful agents of change and they are mostly leading the digital transformation, in all sectors including large enterprises, government sector and start-ups. According to Gartner, 71 percent of the data scientists are serving as digital advisors and are acting as thought-leaders on emerging digital models. Thus they help create the digital business vision for the enterprises. However, 77 percent of the data scientists are developing new data and analytics solutions to compete in new ways.

Data science professionals are right now in huge demand. According to many reports the rise of data science professionals have been significant.

Glassdoor’s 50 Best Jobs in America for 2018 has listed 'Data Scientist' as the best job in the U.S. for three consecutive years, with a median base salary of $110K and 4,524 job openings.

Among Indian studies, around an average of 25 per cent of salary hike was also spotted last year, compared to the year before. The study conducted by a Bengaluru-based firm Belong, which looked at the top 40 startups, said the annual salary of data scientists rose to Rs 25-29 lakh in 2016.

Another report by Simplilearn, which uncovered the list of top cities with highest job openings in the segment mentioned Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai as top cities for big data jobs. However, Bengaluru with 40 percent share leads the job market.

“India is currently witnessing a positive trend in terms of analytics and data science hiring. The fact that the number of analytics jobs has almost doubled from April 2016 to April 2017, is indicative of this. Another interesting observation about the analytics hiring scenario is that there are close to 50,000 positions that are in need of skilled analytics professionals” said Analytics and Data Science India Jobs Study 2017 by Edvancer & AIM.