Data Science Life Cycle | 5 mins read

5 Simple Steps in the Data Science Life Cycle

5 simple steps in the data science life cycle
Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

Insight Into the Data Science Life Cycle

As more companies commit to larger data collection projects, statistics show that most organizations fail to use data properly. Many business leaders hear terms such as data visualization or times series model and have no idea what they are. Understanding data and knowing the way mining works are critical in today's digital world.

To complete, increase the customer base, and generate more sales, companies need a team that understands basic software development. Qualified data scientists can help extract, clean, and remove unreliable data so an organization can generate valuable insights. This will optimize decision-making and streamline business operations. Read ahead to learn everything there is to know about lifecycle data and how data science works.

  • Less than .5% of the data created is ever analyzed and used
  • The United States leads the data science market
  • Data scientists earn more on average than IT specialists
  • Large enterprises tend to employ data scientists, but smaller companies are joining the trend

5 Steps in the Data Science Life Cycle

Data science utilizes a combination of domain knowledge, coding skills, and statistical expertise to identify process data and extract valuable insights. Analysts embark on a science project to help solve a business problem and find answers to questions.

Effective data scientists use model building, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to complete a data science project. Most data science analysts have an extensive background in software engineering and data analysis.

An organization will employ a data scientist to help understand all of the data sources they collect. Most of the time, companies gather big data but aren't sure how to perform business analytics. They need to separate the irrelevant information from the valuable data so they can understand customers, improve internal operations, and increase sales.

To better understand this process, it helps to know the 5 steps in the data science life cycle.

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Data Science Life Cycle Step 1 Data Collection

Most businesses falter in their data collection efforts. They gather too much irrelevant information because they think too much is better than none. While businesses need data, they need the right kind of analysis data.

This is where an effective science team can help. Data scientists will look through databases, use queries, and employ skills to process the information. Teams will need a specific set of tools for cleaning data and data mining. They may extract it from files, download it, and use specific formatting to understand it.

Data Science Life Cycle Step 2 Data Preparation

Once teams have the exploratory data they need, it's time to prepare it. This may be a time-consuming or short and easy process, depending on what the company needs. In the best-case scenario, the data analyst will take different tables, combine them, and organize them in a particular way.

Then, the data science team needs to clean the data to ensure it is reliable and original. They have to abide by quality control requirements, which may depend on the organization's compliance needs. They integrate various data sets and upload them into a warehouse. This helps users easily access reliable and accurate data so they can generate insights.

Data Science Life Cycle Step 3 Exploratory Data Analysis

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Teams perform data analysis to clean, transform, and model data to identify any valuable information that will optimize decision-making. Data analysts take different approaches to data analytics that depend on company objectives and specific business problems.

Machine learning, modeling, and other deep learning techniques are popular tools that many scientists use. They just need to make sure that the data analysis answers the specific questions leadership requires. Standard best practices for data preparation, analysis, and data cleaning include -

  • Identifying variables
  • Uni and Bivariate analysis
  • Treating missing values
  • Outlier detection
  • Transforming variables
  • Creating variables

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Data Science Life Cycle Step 4 Model Building

Data scientists test out their work so far and see if it needs improvement during the modeling phase of the data science life cycle. Teams must take the time to thoroughly explore and clean the data to build the correct models. Otherwise, they will be generated based on faulty information.

Scientists may use machine learning techniques that include training, validation, and testing. Once they create a learning model out of new data, users can extract insights. At the end of the modeling phase, scientists conduct an audit to determine how well the model performs and whether or not it is relevant to the business question. Will the model generate a deeper business understanding of inefficiencies or customer needs? If so, the model is effective.

  • Always build a model around a business process or objective
  • Use a data dimension table
  • Don't mix daily and weekly aggregates in the same table
  • Build summary tables to save time
  • Complex data transformations are best handled by ETL tools or in the database

Data Science Life Cycle Step 5 Model Development

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Finally, all science projects need to move out of project life status into real-life status. Analysts use some type of application to complete this. They will record any machine learning models because the programming language requirements will vary, depending on each business unit's needs.

Once users have access to the data model, they will probably want to provide feedback. The more accurately a team documents feedback, the better the data science projects. Most businesses hire additional team members to monitor the future flow of the project life cycle.

Key Takeaways of Data Science Life Cycle

In conclusion, here is what to know about the data science life cycle -

  • First, companies need to focus on the type of data they collect. This requires querying databases and utilizing specific skills to transfer data.
  • Data preparation is the next step. It requires the organization and combination of different tables in a particular way. Analysts also need to remove any redundant information before they create a data model. Next, they should conduct exploratory data analysis to clean, transform, and model data. This is how an organization will generate useful insights to optimize decision-making.
  • Data scientists will then build a model. The previous phases must be completed correctly to ensure the model is accurate. Scientists typically use machine learning techniques such as training, validation, and testing.
  • Finally, the science team must transfer the project into the real world. They typically use a set of applications and record all models in case programming language requirements vary. They also test out the process before everything is deployed.

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