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Just because "computing has always centered on data", doesn't mean that every aspect of that was done well (not implying any recent changes brought by "Data Science" here).

For a lot of systems, a lot of engineers/programmers often care very little about the "data", and they very often don't need to. E.g. on a high abstraction level your webserver doesn't care if it's sending HTML, JSON or whatever, and here we are just speaking about formats and not even higher semantics of the data.

I think there can be a lot of value in data-focused roles in companies, because there are many (hard) questions around data that are often badly answered as afterthoughts:

- What are the exact semantics of this data?

- How do make sure the data is clean?

- How do we evolve the data over time?






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