Difference Between Data Science and Artificial Intelligence

Difference Between Data Science and Artificial Intelligence

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Vikram Singh
Assistant Manager - Content
Updated on Oct 27, 2023 18:30 IST

If you’ve ever found yourself puzzled by the distinctions between data science and artificial intelligence, this article is your guide. Delving into the definitions, skill sets, job roles, and practical applications, it offers clarity on the contrast between these two fields.


Data science and artificial intelligence (AI) applications are experiencing a truly stellar moment. The ability to use data to discover opportunities generate meaningful knowledge and support decision-making processes are widely accepted worldwide. Various industries are increasingly adopting disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the internet of things. A study published recently by Market Study Report LLC confirms this trend, it is estimated that the global market for data science and artificial intelligence platforms will have a CAGR of 30% by 2026. Considering the huge talks about data science and artificial intelligence, we take the opportunity to cover the concepts of Artificial Intelligence Vs. Data Science and educate our readers on both the topics.

Table of Content

Difference Between Data Science and Artificial Intelligence: Data Science vs Artificial Intelligence

Data Science Artificial Intelligence
Definition Data Science is an interdisciplinary field that uses scientific methods, processes, algorithms, and systems to extract knowledge and insights from structured and unstructured data. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions.
Objective The main objective is to find actionable insights from data. This includes data analysis, preparation, and visualization. The goal is to create systems capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. This includes learning, reasoning, problem-solving, perception, and language understanding.
Focus Area Focuses on analyzing and interpreting complex digital data, especially large datasets (Big Data), to assist in decision-making. Focuses on creating intelligent algorithms and machines that can solve problems, learn from data, and perform human-like tasks.
Tools and Techniques Utilizes statistical analysis, machine learning, predictive modeling, data mining, and big data analytics tools. Uses machine learning algorithms, neural networks, deep learning, and natural language processing to create AI models.
Applications Used in business analytics, big data analytics, data mining, and predictive modeling. Applied in robotics, natural language processing, expert systems, game playing, and speech recognition.
Outcome Aims to provide clear insights into complex data sets for decision-making and strategic planning. Aims to create autonomous systems that can perform tasks without human intervention, based on learned or pre-programmed instructions.
Skills Required Requires skills in statistics, mathematics, data visualization, and knowledge of tools like Python, R, SQL, etc. Requires understanding of complex algorithms, machine learning, computer vision, robotics, and programming skills in various AI frameworks.

What is Data Science?

Data science is an interdisciplinary field that uses scientific methods, processes, algorithms, and systems to extract knowledge and insights from data. Data scientists use various tools and techniques, including statistics, machine learning, and data mining, to analyze data and identify patterns and trends. They then use these insights to solve real-world problems and make better decisions.

Why Data Science

Data Science is used in scenarios where there is a need to:

  • Analyze Large and Complex Data Sets To uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends, customer preferences, and other useful business information.
  • Make Predictive and Prescriptive Analyses: For forecasting future events and behaviours, allowing businesses to make proactive, knowledge-driven decisions.
  • Enhance Decision Making: Providing quantitative and data-driven evidence leads to more accurate and objective decisions.
  • Drive Innovation: Through analyzing trends and patterns, guiding the development of new products or services.
  • Optimize Processes: In operations, logistics, supply chain management, and improving customer experiences.

Skills Required in Data Science

  • Statistical Analysis and Mathematics: Proficiency in statistics and mathematics to understand and process complex data.
  • Programming Skills: Knowledge of programming languages like Python, R, SQL, etc., for data manipulation and analysis.
  • Machine Learning: Familiarity with machine learning algorithms and principles.
  • Data Visualization: Ability to present data findings effectively using visualization tools like Tableau, PowerBI, or similar.
  • Big Data Platforms: Understanding of big data processing tools like Hadoop, Spark, and others.
  • Domain Knowledge: Specific industry knowledge can be crucial depending on the field of application.
  • Problem-Solving Skills: Strong analytical and critical thinking abilities to solve complex problems.
  • Communication Skills: To translate technical findings to non-technical stakeholders.

Job Profile in Data Science

Job Profile Description Skills Required
Data Scientist Analyzes complex data to drive decisions. Python, R, SQL, Machine Learning, Data Visualization
Data Analyst Interprets data for actionable business insights. SQL, Excel, Data Visualization, Critical Thinking
Machine Learning Engineer Develops predictive models and machine learning solutions. Python, R, Deep Learning, TensorFlow/Keras, Data Modeling
Business Intelligence Analyst Transforms data into business insights. Data Analysis, Data Visualization, SQL, Business Acumen
Data Engineer Builds systems for processing and analyzing large data sets. Big Data Technologies, ETL Tools, Database Management, Python
Statistician Applies statistics to analyze and interpret data. Statistical Software, R, Python, Data Interpretation
Data Architect Designs databases and data management systems. Database Design, Data Modeling, SQL, Big Data Technologies

Application of Data Science

  • Healthcare: Data scientists can use data to develop new drugs and treatments, improve patient care, and reduce costs. 

For example, they can use data to predict which patients are at risk of developing certain diseases or identify patients likely to respond well to particular treatments.

  • Finance: Data scientists can use data to develop new financial products and services, manage risk, and make better investment decisions. 

For example, they can use data to develop algorithms that can predict stock market movements or identify companies at risk of bankruptcy.

  • Technology: Data scientists can use data to develop new products and services, improve the performance of existing products, and personalize the user experience. 

For example, they can use data to develop algorithms to recommend products to users or create more effective advertising campaigns.

  • Retail: Data scientists can use data to understand customer behavior, improve inventory management, and optimize pricing. 

For example, they can use data to identify which products are most popular with customers or predict when demand for a particular product will likely increase.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions. It encompasses the creation of algorithms and systems that can perform tasks which typically require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and language translation. AI aims to create machines that can autonomously learn, reason, and solve problems.

Why Artificial Intelligence

AI is used in various scenarios, including but not limited to:

  • Automating Routine Tasks: For tasks that are repetitive and time-consuming, AI can automate them to increase efficiency.
  • Enhancing Decision Making: AI can quickly analyze large volumes of data and provide insights to aid in more informed decision-making.
  • Improving Customer Experiences: In customer service, AI chatbots and virtual assistants can provide personalized support to customers.
  • Predictive Analysis: In sectors like finance or healthcare, AI can predict trends and outcomes based on historical data.
  • Innovation in Products and Services: AI can drive the development of new technology in fields like robotics, autonomous vehicles, and smart devices.

Skills Required

The field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) requires a diverse set of skills, blending knowledge from computer science, mathematics, psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, linguistics, operations research, economics, and other disciplines. 

Here are some key skills essential for professionals in AI:

  • Programming Languages: Proficiency in programming languages such as Python, Java, R, and C++ is crucial. Python, in particular, is widely used due to its extensive libraries and frameworks specifically designed for AI.
  • Machine Learning and Deep Learning: Understanding machine learning algorithms (like supervised, unsupervised, and reinforcement learning) and deep learning (neural networks) is fundamental.
  • Statistics and Mathematical Skills: A strong background in statistics and mathematics (especially calculus, linear algebra, and probability) is essential for understanding and designing AI models.
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP): Skills in NLP are important for developing applications that require the machine to understand and process human languages.
  • Neural Networks: Knowledge of neural network architectures is critical to many AI solutions, particularly in fields like computer vision and speech recognition.
  • Problem-Solving and Analytical Thinking: The ability to approach complex problems analytically and devise novel solutions is key in AI.
  • Data Engineering: Skills in data preprocessing, extraction, and transformation are important as AI systems often require large, well-organized datasets to learn effectively.
  • Robotics: For those working in the field of physical automation and robotics, skills in robotics, including hardware design and control algorithms, are necessary.
  • Software Engineering and System Design: Understanding of software development practices and system design is important for building and scaling AI models and systems.
  • Ethics and Social Responsibility: As AI systems increasingly impact various aspects of society, understanding ethical implications and practicing social responsibility in AI development and deployment is crucial.
  • Communication Skills: Clearly communicating complex AI concepts to non-experts is valuable, especially when collaborating with cross-functional teams or explaining AI systems to stakeholders.

Job Profile in Artificial Intelligence

Job Profile Role Skills Required
AI Research Scientist Advances fundamental understanding and capabilities of AI through research. Deep understanding of ML, deep learning, neural networks; strong mathematical and algorithmic background.
Machine Learning Engineer Designs and implements machine learning models and systems. Proficiency in ML algorithms, programming languages (Python, R), big data technologies.
Data Scientist Analyzes and interprets complex data sets using AI and ML. Strong in statistics, programming, data visualization, ML.
AI Engineer Develops, tests, and applies AI models; integrates AI into software systems. Programming, AI algorithms, software development, system integration.
Robotics Engineer Designs and develops robotic systems for autonomous tasks or human assistance. Robotics, programming, mechanical and electrical engineering.
NLP Engineer Focuses on enabling machines to understand and respond to human languages. Linguistics, programming, ML, especially in NLP.
Computer Vision Engineer Enables machines to interpret and make decisions based on visual data. Image processing, ML, neural networks.
AI Product Manager Manages the development of AI products, aligning them with business strategy. Product management, AI and ML understanding, strategic planning, communication.
AI Ethics Officer Ensures ethical, transparent, and responsible development and use of AI systems. Knowledge of ethical principles, AI technology, legal and regulatory frameworks.
Business Intelligence Developer Analyzes data sets to enhance business decision-making using AI. Data analytics, business acumen, AI and ML tools.

Applications of Artificial Intelligence


  • Disease Identification and Diagnosis: AI algorithms can analyze medical images like X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to detect diseases like cancer more quickly and accurately than traditional methods.
  • Drug Discovery and Development: AI speeds up the drug development process, making it more cost-effective and efficient.


  • Algorithmic Trading: AI algorithms can predict stock markets and execute trades quickly.
  • Fraud Detection: AI systems detect unusual patterns indicating fraudulent activities on credit cards, insurance claims, and other financial transactions.


  • Autonomous Vehicles: Self-driving cars use AI to perceive their environment and make decisions to navigate roads safely.
  • Predictive Maintenance: AI predicts when vehicle parts need maintenance, enhancing safety and reliability.


  • Music and Movie Recommendations: Services like Spotify and Netflix use AI to recommend music and movies based on user preferences.
  • Video Games: AI enhances the gaming experience by creating responsive, adaptive, or intelligent behaviours in non-player characters (NPCs).

Customer Service:

  • Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants provide customer support and information retrieval without human intervention.
  • Voice Recognition: AI enhances voice recognition systems, enabling devices to understand and respond to human speech.


  • Personalized Learning: AI tailors educational content to meet students’ individual needs.
  • Automated Grading: AI systems can grade essays and exams, reducing the workload on educators.
About the Author
Vikram Singh
Assistant Manager - Content

Vikram has a Postgraduate degree in Applied Mathematics, with a keen interest in Data Science and Machine Learning. He has experience of 2+ years in content creation in Mathematics, Statistics, Data Science, and Mac... Read Full Bio