13 Most in-Demand Data Science Skills

13 Most in-Demand Data Science Skills


Data science professionals are in high demand at the enterprise level across all industry verticals due to the usage of Big Data as an insight-generating engine. Organizations are increasingly relying on the data science professionals to sustain, expand, and stay one step ahead of the competition, whether it's to enhance customer retention, streamline the product development process, or mine data to uncover new business prospects.

This expertise opens doors to lucrative career prospects in diverse sectors. However, it's essential to embrace continuous learning and stay updated with the latest tools and techniques to thrive in this ever-evolving domain. Data science skills are the key to unlocking innovation, growth, and success.

As the need for Data Science professionals grow, the field offers both aspiring professionals and seasoned workers an appealing career path. This includes people who aren't data scientists but are captivated with data and data science, leading them to wonder what big data skills and data science skills are required to seek careers in data science.

Data Science Skills

To help you find the answer, we’ve put together this guide covering all the major skills you need to either start or grow your career in Data Science. 

Skill 1 - Programming Languages

Data science professionals must have programming skills because this is how we communicate with and instruct computers. There are many different programming languages, but some are more suited for data science than others.

The most used programming languages for data science are listed below,

Python is simple and one of the most widely used programming languages for data analysis in the world. Every data analyst should know Python.

Python is important in data analytics fields that use Machine Learning because it has a wide set of libraries. Users can use Python to extract large amounts of data into structured format.

You can perform computational tasks in Python with libraries like NumPy, Pandas, and Matplotlib. Due to it’s human-friendly syntax Python is easy to learn.

R is popular and used in statistical modeling, visualization, and data analysis programming language. Users mostly used it for statistical analysis, Big Data, and machine learning. R is a free, open-source programming language. R plays an important role in EDA (Exploratory data analysis) for evaluating data sets to summarize their essential properties.

SQL is a programming language used to store and retrieve data from relational databases. The reason SQL is the widely used language for data analysis is because many large corporations use some variation of SQL to store their data whether it be Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server, etc. SQL is used to retrieve useful data so that it can be used for analysis.

Spark is an open-source processing engine for large scale data processing. It is especially used for unstructured data or huge volumes of data for faster computation. It is also designed for quick iterative processing such as Machine Learning and interactive Data Analysis.

Skill 2 - Machine Learning Algorithms

Machine learning is a subfield of artificial intelligence that enables computers to learn from data without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning is a highly sought-after skill in data science as it allows organizations to make predictions, automate tasks, and make decisions based on data.


Skill 3 - Data Visualization

Data visualization is a crucial skill in data science because it enables researchers, data analysts, and decision-makers to effectively communicate insights from data to various stakeholders. It involves using various tools and techniques to present data in a graphical or pictorial form that helps make it easier to understand patterns, relationships, and trends in the data.

There are various tools and techniques for data visualization, including:

  1. Bar Charts, Line Charts, and Scatter Plots are some of the most commonly used visualization types and are used to represent the distribution of data, trends over time, and relationships between two or more variables.

  2. Histograms are used to represent the distribution of a single variable and are especially useful when working with continuous data.

  3. Box Plots are used to represent the distribution of data by showing the median, quartiles, and outliers.

  4. Heat Maps are used to represent two-dimensional data by assigning colors to values based on a color scale.

  5. Pie Charts are used to represent the proportion of different categories in a single variable.

  6. Network Graphs are used to represent relationships between entities and can be used to show relationships between individuals, organizations, or other entities. 

In order to effectively use data visualization in data science, it is important to have a good understanding of the data you are working with, as well as the appropriate tool or technique for visualizing that data. Additionally, it is important to be able to effectively communicate insights from the visualizations you create to various stakeholders, including decision-makers and the public.

Skill 4 - Big Data Technologies

Big Data technologies are an important part of the data science skillset. They provide the infrastructure to store, process and analyze large and complex data sets, which are beyond the capacity of traditional data management systems. The primary aim of Big Data technologies is to provide a scalable, efficient, and cost-effective solution for handling big data.

Some of the popular Big Data technologies are:

Hadoop is an open-source framework that provides a platform for distributed storage and processing of large data sets.

Spark is an open-source, distributed computing system that can process big data sets quickly and efficiently.

NoSQL Databases such as MongoDB and Cassandra, provide a flexible and scalable way to store big data.

Hive is an open-source data warehousing solution for Hadoop that provides SQL-like querying capabilities for big data.

Pig  is an open-source platform for analyzing large data sets that provides a high-level language for expressing data analysis tasks.

Srinivas Vedantam quotation

Skill 5 - Cloud computing

Cloud computing is a highly relevant technology in the field of data science. It provides a way to store, process and analyze large data sets using scalable and highly available infrastructure, without the need for expensive on-premises hardware.

Some of the popular cloud computing platforms for data science include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure. These platforms offer a variety of services for data storage, processing, analysis, and machine learning, making it easier for data science professionals to work with big data.

As a data professional, it's important to have a good understanding of cloud computing concepts, as well as hands-on experience with at least one of the major cloud platforms. This will enable you to make informed decisions about which platform to use for a specific problem and how to effectively leverage the cloud to solve big data problems

Skill 6 - Data Engineering

Data Engineering is a crucial skill, as it involves designing, building, and maintaining the infrastructure that enables the collection, storage, processing, and analysis of data.

Data engineers are responsible for designing and implementing data pipelines, building, and managing data warehouses and data lakes, and ensuring that data is stored in a manner that enables efficient access and analysis. Data engineering is also crucial skill as it provides the infrastructure necessary to enable effective data analysis.

Data professionals who have strong data engineering skills are better equipped to work with large and complex data sets and can make more informed decisions about how to approach data-related problems.


Skill 7 - Deep learning Frameworks

Deep learning is a subfield of machine learning that focuses on using artificial neural networks to model and solve complex problems. It has been highly successful in areas such as image recognition, natural language processing, and speech recognition.

There are several popular deep learning frameworks that data professionals use to build and train deep learning models, including:

TensorFlow is an open-source framework developed by Google, TensorFlow is one of the most widely used deep learning frameworks. It provides a high-level API for building and training deep learning models, as well as a low-level API for customizing and fine-tuning models.

PyTorch is an open-source framework developed by Facebook, PyTorch provides a flexible and intuitive API for building and training deep learning models. It is designed to be user-friendly and has a large community of users and contributors.

Keras is an open-source library that provides a high-level API for building and training deep learning models, using either TensorFlow or Theano as a backend. Keras is designed to be fast and easy to use, making it a popular choice for beginners and researchers.

Caffe is an open-source framework developed by the Berkeley Vision and Learning Center, Caffe is designed for high performance and efficient training of deep learning models. It is widely used in computer vision applications.

Having a good understanding of deep learning frameworks and hands-on experience with at least one of these frameworks is a valuable skill. It allows them to build and train deep learning models to solve complex data problems and extract valuable insights from large and complex data sets

Skill 8 - Statistical Analysis

Statistical analysis is a critical component of data science and is used to gain insights and make informed decisions based on data. It involves using statistical methods to collect, analyze, and interpret data, and to draw conclusions based on that data.

Some of the key statistical methods used in data science include:

Descriptive statistics is summarizing and describing the main features of a data set, such as the mean, median, and standard deviation.

Inferential statistics is making inferences about a population based on a sample of data, using techniques such as hypothesis testing and confidence intervals.

Regression analysis is modeling the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables and using that model to make predictions about future outcomes.

Time series analysis is analyzing data collected over time, such as stock prices or weather patterns, to understand trends and patterns.

Cluster analysis is grouping similar data points together based on their attributes and using that grouping to understand patterns and relationships within the data.

A strong understanding of statistical analysis and a solid grasp of the methods and techniques used in statistical analysis are essential skills. This enables them to effectively analyze data and make informed decisions based on that data, and to communicate those decisions to stakeholders in a clear and concise manner.


Skill 9 - Data Storytelling

Data storytelling is another one of the most crucial aspects of data science that involves communicating insights and findings from data analysis in a compelling and understandable way. Data storytelling helps to translate complex data into actionable insights and to effectively communicate those insights to a variety of audiences, including stakeholders, clients, and the public. 

Some of the key skills involved in data storytelling include:

Data visualization is creating visual representations of data, such as graphs, charts, and maps, to help understand patterns and relationships in the data.

Narrative development is creating a compelling narrative that ties together the insights from the data analysis and makes it easier for the audience to understand.

Presentation skills is to present the data insights in a clear and concise manner, using tools such as slides, infographics, and interactive dashboards.

Story structure is understanding the elements of a good story and how to use them to create a compelling narrative from the data insights. Also, effectively communicating the data insights and findings to a variety of audiences, including technical and non-technical stakeholders, and adapting the message and delivery to the audience.

Data storytelling is a valuable skill because it allows them to communicate the insights and value of their work to a wide range of audiences. It helps to translate the results of data analysis into meaningful and actionable insights that can be used to inform business decisions and drive impact.

Skill 10 - Data Ethics

Data ethics is an important aspect of data science that deals with the responsible and ethical use of data. As the volume of data continues to grow and the role of data in society becomes increasingly important, it is crucial for data scientists to be aware of the ethical implications of their work and to use data in a responsible and ethical manner.

Some of the key areas of data ethics in data science include:

Privacy: Ensuring that personal data is collected, stored, and used in a manner that protects the privacy of individuals.

Bias: Minimizing the potential for bias in data collection, analysis, and decision-making, and being aware of the potential impact of existing biases on data analysis results.

Transparency: Being transparent about the methods and techniques used in data analysis and the results that are generated and making data and results accessible to stakeholders.

Responsibility: Being responsible for the impact of data analysis and decision-making and ensuring that data is used in a manner that is aligned with ethical and social values.

Trust: Building and maintaining trust with stakeholders by being transparent and accountable in the use of data and by protecting the privacy and security of data.

Data ethics is a critical skill for data science professionals because it ensures that data is used in a responsible and ethical manner and that the impact of data analysis and decision-making is aligned with ethical and social values. It helps to build trust with stakeholders, protects the privacy and security of personal data, and ensures that data analysis results are fair and unbiased

Skill 11 - Business Acumen

Business acumen is an important skill for any data enthusiast because it helps them understand the business context in which their work is taking place and to communicate their insights and findings in a way that is relevant and actionable for the business.

Having a strong understanding of business and the ability to apply that understanding to data analysis is a valuable skill. It enables them to generate insights and solutions that are relevant and impactful for the business and to communicate those insights to stakeholders effectively. 

Skill 12 - Project Management

Project management is a necessary skill because it helps ensure that data science projects are completed on time, within budget, and to a high-quality standard. Effective project management helps plan and execute data science projects in a structured and efficient manner and coordinates the work of different team members and stakeholders.

Some of the key project management skills in data science include:

Project planning is developing a detailed project plan that outlines the scope, timeline, budget, and resources required for the project.

Task management is breaking down the project into smaller tasks and assigning those tasks to team members, tracking progress, and adjusting the plan as needed.

Risk management is identifying potential risks to the project and developing strategies to mitigate or address those risks.

Resource management is allocating resources (such as time, budget, and personnel) to the project in an efficient and effective manner.

Familiarity with agile methodologies, such as Scrum or Kanban, to help manage project tasks and timelines in a flexible and adaptive manner.

Skill 13 - Domain-Specific Knowledge

Domain-specific knowledge is a mandatory skill because it enables them to understand the specific context in which they are working and generate relevant and impactful insights for the business.


With tough competition and even tougher skills needed for data science to master, it is neither very easy nor very difficult to enter the data science industry. You have to go beyond taking Statistics and Math courses, and work on hands-on data science projects to provide solutions to organizations by tackling real-world big data problems that they might have.

Now, if you are really excited to get into a Data Science role then OdinSchool's Data Science Course is here for you.


It is an intensive 6-month Data Science Bootcamp that comes with placement assistance. It is led by industry experts and offers an industry-vetted curriculum with a special focus on the most in-demand skills.


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About the Author

Meet Deepak Kumar, a talented writer who enjoys baking and taking pictures in addition to contributing insightful articles. He contributes a plethora of knowledge to our blog with years of experience and skill.

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