Years ago Mitchell Sanders laid out a roadmap to the archetypal data scientist: someone who combines domain knowledge (i.e., they understand their particular vertical industry), math and statistics expertise, and programming skills. Ben Lorica and Mike Loukides add even more detail to the job description:
"Whatever the role, data scientists aren’t just statisticians; they frequently have doctorates in the sciences, with a lot of practical experience working with data at scale. They are almost always strong programmers, not just specialists in R or some other statistical package. They understand data ingestion, data cleaning, prototyping, bringing prototypes to production, product design, setting up and managing data infrastructure, and much more."