Data science is fashionable. Data science startups are sprouting across the globe and established companies are scrambling to assemble data science teams. The ability to analyze large datasets is also becoming increasingly important in the academic and research world.

Why this explosion in demand for data scientists? Our view is that the emergence of data science can be viewed as the serendipitous collusion of several interlinked factors. The first is data availability. Over the last fifteen years, the amount of data collected by companies has exploded. In the world of research, cheap gene sequencing techniques have drastically increased the amount of genomic data available. Social and professional networking sites have built huge graphs ...

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