Smith Hanley Associates’ Data Science and Analytics Recruiter, Nancy Darian, sees three major data science trends solidifying in 2019 for her candidates and clients: Automation of Business Processes/Feature Engineering, the continuing increased utilization of Augmented Reality and Python, Python, Python.

Feature Engineering

Increased management of raw data through automated processes is transforming the role of data science and is one of the most significant data science trends for 2019. As advanced technologies take over the routine processes of cleaning and processing data, the data scientist will have more time to explore complex business problems and do more innovation. Feature Engineering is the process of transforming raw data into features that better represent the underlying problem resulting in improved model accuracy. Feature Engineering is fundamental to the application of Machine Learning and is both difficult and expensive, but can be done more effectively when the data science team is not caught up in cleaning the data.

Augmented Reality

Chatbots, virtual reality and augmented realty are revolutionizing product and service marketing. The Drum reports that AR can capture people’s attention for over 85 seconds, increase interaction rates by 20% and improve click-through rates to purchase by 33%.

AI enabled technologies deliver personalized customer experiences through interactive demos, live simulations and visualization of custom solutions. In 2015, Home Depot introduced their Project Color app which uses AR technology to show users what a paint color will look like in their home. It can take into account lighting, objects, and even shadows in the room. Subway is testing robots to prepare and deliver sandwiches through a cashless dispenser. This service may be a reality as early as 2020. Pepsi used AR technology in 2014 in a London bus shelter to make it appear as if a lion, UFO’s, flying saucers and other objects were headed straight for Londoners. A video of this AR technology attracted over six million views on YouTube, making it one of YouTube’s most viewed advertising campaigns, and highlighted the effectiveness of using a technology to garner attention without specifically showcasing your product.


Towards Data Science in their 2019 Data Science Trends Report said that if we gave Oscars to programming languages, Python would definitely be a winner. Stackoverflow reports  that Python is the fastest growing major programming language and the most wanted language for the second year in a row. It surpassed C# in 2018 and is only a few percentage points away from passing Java in 2019. Python continues to grow because it is easy to understand and very flexible. Python reads like English which takes syntax-learning stress off coding beginners. You can solve problems using different methods and Python is forgiving of errors so you can run your program until you hit the problematic part. Continuing improvement and addition of tools and libraries also makes Python easier to use and easier to be effective when you do use it. Online community support is also quite strong.

Do you agree that these are the top data science trends for 2019? Interested in conducting a job search or in hiring a data scientist? Contact Smith Hanley Associates’ Data Science and Analytics Recruiter, Nancy Darian, at

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