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Although there are more powerful tools than Excel which a data scientist should know how to use, would it be expected that someone indicating they are a Data Scientist know how to use Excel?

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  • $\begingroup$ Some good discussion here: datascience.stackexchange.com/questions/5443/… $\endgroup$ – redhqs Feb 22 '19 at 17:31
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site! I have a variety of interview questions that I ask data scientists that want to work on my team. One day, I thought about asking "anti-questions" during interviews. Like, as the very first question, I can ask someone to write me an Excel macro that does a data manipulation of some kind. If they can complete that task, I immediately thank them for their time and show them the door :-) $\endgroup$ – I_Play_With_Data Feb 22 '19 at 17:52
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It depends on the level of expertise that is required. Personally I know how to do most of the standard operations you would need for Excel but I don’t think a Data Scientist needs to know more than that.

If this is a job advert where they are asking for advanced knowledge of Excel as a Data Scientist and do not require much in the way of programming/machine learning skills then I would give the job a wide berth. It would indicate to me that the company putting the job out don’t understand what a Data Scientist is and are putting a job out to say they have one.

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    $\begingroup$ A data scientist would likely have a diverse skill set including at least one programming language and the ability to manipulate .csv files, data frames, and tables. Excel would almost seem to be a very minor and easy thing to pick up at that point. $\endgroup$ – StevenTheDataGuy Feb 22 '19 at 15:23
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    $\begingroup$ @StevenTheDataGuy yes that would typically be the case, asking for advanced Excel experience has been a red flag in my experience $\endgroup$ – HFulcher Feb 22 '19 at 15:29
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would it be expected that someone indicating they are a Data Scientist know how to use Excel?

No.

A data scientist is someone who is better at programming than a statistician and better at statistics than a programmer.

Most data scientists use R or Python for data manipulation. And, most of the times they have to write production grade scripts where data processing has to be automatic, which are usually performed quite nicely by R or Python.

Excel can although be considered an added bonus with the candidate. IMHO, it should not be a criteria for selection and should also not be expected.

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