Chapter 3. AI Skills

How can you assess the skills you need for a data science project? In some regard, no matter how agile your team is during your science project’s duration, it won’t matter if you don’t have a minimal aptitude skill set within your team. In this chapter, we look at the core skills in data science and effective practices for building a data science team and nurturing a supportive culture.

There are a few roles that are almost always found on data science teams in industry. (Of course, some of the following descriptions might change, depending on the needs of a business vertical or specific focus.) We talk about these in general terms as follows:

Domain expertise

Understanding the business needs and nuances within it; for example, regulatory compliance about data privacy if you work in health care.

Data science

This is where the science and math come in—can you prove insights about the business based on advanced analysis of its data?


Machine learning models need to be integrated into application software, and that requires programming.


Data science tends to rely on lots of compute resources and requires people who are proficient with data engineering, distributed systems, and high-performance computing.

These typical roles indicate what kinds of skills are needed on a data science team. Before we dive into specifics, let’s first take a look at some of the history that led to data science.

Understanding the Skills and Culture

Data science ...

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