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

In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Science stand out as two of the most sought-after fields. Often, people mistakenly consider them the same, but they serve distinct purposes. AI, a component within Data Science, is utilized to enhance and automate data operations. As an expert in these domains, it is crucial to differentiate between them. The conversation around “data science vs artificial intelligence” is not just academic; it has practical implications for professionals looking to specialize. AI focuses on creating systems capable of intelligent behavior, whereas Data Science involves analyzing and interpreting complex data to make informed decisions. A detailed analysis of “data science vs artificial intelligence” reveals each field’s unique value and application, offering a clear understanding for professionals aiming to navigate these exciting career paths.  

What is Data Science?

Data science is the pillar of the industry in today’s world. It is something without which a business cannot perform. It is the foundation of a successful profit-earning organization. Data science helps in collecting and analyzing the data. Based on this analysis, firms take their important financial decisions, helping them to increase their sales, prevent losses and increase their profit margin. 

There has been significant growth in need of the data processing to the industries after the explosion of massive data collected by them through various means of the internet like a laptop, smartphone, tablet, desktop, etc. The companies are now relying on data to make any decisions related to almost everything about the organization. These decisions are used to make better services and products, enhancement and modification, elimination and addition of different things, etc. 

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Data Science has thus brought forth a massive revolution in almost all industries. Modern societies are all data-driven, and that’s why Data science has become a crucial part of the contemporary world.

There are many subfields in Data Science such as Programming, Mathematics, and Statistics. A Data scientist should be very proficient in understanding the patterns and trends of the data. One should possess this skill of understanding to become a good Data Scientist. There are many procedures and steps in Data Science which are:

  1. Extraction of Data: The Data has to be extracted by the Data Scientist from Big Data which is the first step in the processing of data. Data extracted should be able to give insight into a specific problem which will be later used by the leadership, management or other decision making authorities in the organization.
  2. Manipulation: A Data Scientist should be able to manipulate the data by applying specific filters. Using filters, one should be able to get the desired level of data filtration, which is going to be analyzed further for decision-making.
  3. Visualization: The Data Scientist shall create a display of data that can be easily understood. The Data can be represented in the form of Tables, Diagrams, Charts, Graphs and many more. When the Data is visualized, then it is straightforward to understand which is the best form of anything to understand.
  4. Maintenance: The data extracted has to be maintained for future purposes as well so that it can be used again in future decision-making to predict various things in the businesses.

Read: Career in data science and its future growth

The ways in which data science helps in the growth of a firm are as follows – 

  • It helps to analyze the risk of the firm and protects the firm and also the customers from any future losses. It predicts if there are any fraud activities going on. 
  • It analyzes the trends and purchasing patterns of the customers. It then gives recommendations to the customers regarding their preferred choice of product that they would like to purchase. It also gives offers and discounts on their preferred products. It also helps in strengthening relations with the customer besides increasing the sales of the company. 
  • Banks use data science tools to analyze the creditworthiness of their customers. With the help of the past payment record, the firm decides whether to give further loans to the customer or not.
  • It also helps to analyze the hidden data which is not easily understandable. 

Hierarchy of Needs in Data Science

As now we already know that Artificial Intelligence is a part of Data Science, Now we will discuss the six different hierarchy of needs in Data Science:

  1. First Need: Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning
  2. Second Need: A/B Testing, Experimentation and Simple ML Algorithms
  3. Third Need: Analytics, Metrics, Segments, Aggregates, Features and Training Data
  4. Fourth Need: Cleaning, Anomaly Detection, and Prep
  5. Fifth Need: Reliable Data Flow, Infrastructure, Data Pipelines, ETL, Structured and Unstructured Data Storage
  6. Sixth Need: Instrumentation, Logging, Sensors, External Data and User Generated Content

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What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence is a field where algorithms are used to perform automatic actions. Its models are based on the natural intelligence of humans and animals. Similar patterns of the past are recognized, and related operations are performed automatically when the patterns are repeated. Artificial Intelligence basically impersonates the human brain and performs the activities that any human can perform but in a more efficient way and is less time–consuming. 

It utilizes the principles of software engineering and computational algorithms for the development of solutions to a problem. Using Artificial intelligence, people can develop automatic systems that provide cost savings and several other benefits to companies. Large organizations are heavily dependant on Artificial Intelligence, including tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, and Google. 

The uses of AI are as follows – 

  • Artificial Intelligence helps to build a system that thinks and works like a human brain. 
  • Artificial Intelligence is used in the field of agriculture as well to study soil conditions.
  • It is used in automobile industries where AI is used to predict any danger or problem in a vehicle. 
  • AI is used by online shopping sites to keep a track of the products purchased by the customer and suggest similar products. 
  • Video gaming industry, Education and navigating industries are some of the sectors that use AI extensively. 

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

AI and data science are blessings to the industries. Although, at times amid AI vs data science, it is assumed that both concepts are the same, in reality, it is not so. The difference between AI and data science are as follows –   

  1. Definition:  Data science is a process of collection and analysis of data. AI is a process where only future patterns and trends have to be analyzed.
  2. Scope: Artificial Intelligence is only limited to the implementation of ML algorithms, whereas Data Science involves various underlying operations of data.
  3. Type of Data: Artificial Intelligence contains the kind of data that are standardized in the form of vectors and embeddings but, on the other hand, Data Science will have many different kinds of data such as structured, semi-structured and unstructured type of data
  4. Tools: The Tools used in Artificial Intelligence are Mahout, Shogun, TensorFlow, PyTorch, Kaffe, Scikit-learn and the tools that are used in Data Science are Keras, SPSS, SAS, Python, R, etc
  5. Applications: Artificial Intelligence applications are used in many sectors like the Healthcare industry, transport industry, robotics industries, automation industries, and manufacturing industries. On the other hand, Data Science applications are used in the field of Internet Search Engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Marketing Field, Banking, Advertising Field and many more.
  6. Process: In the process of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Future events are forecasted using the predictive model. But Data Science involves the process of prediction, visualization, analysis, and pre-processing of data. Thus with respect to the process, in data science vs artificial intelligence, AI involves a lot of high-level, complex processing compared to data science.
  7. Techniques: Artificial Intelligence will use algorithms in computers to solve the problem, whereas Data Science will involve many different methods of statistics and mathematics. Thus with respect to techniques in artificial intelligence vs data science, we can say that data science involves the use of data analytics tools. Artificial Intelligence involves the use of machine learning techniques. Machine learning is a part of Artificial Intelligence. Machine learning provides the tools that are required to understand the data. Machine learning has three approaches. They have supervised machine learning, unsupervised machine learning, and reinforcement machine learning. 
  8. Purpose: The primary purpose of Artificial Intelligence is to automate the process and bring autonomy to the model of data. But the primary goal of Data Science is to find the patterns that are hidden in the data. These both have their own set of purposes and goals which are different from each other. 
  9. Different Models: In Artificial Intelligence, Models are built which are expected to be similar to the understanding and cognition of humans. In Data Science, Models are constructed to produce insights that are statistical for decision-making. 
  10. Degree of Scientific Processing: Artificial Intelligence will use a very high degree of scientific processing when compared with Data science which uses less scientific processing.
  11. Skills Required: When talking about AI vs data science, a data scientist must have knowledge of data analytics tools like R, Excel, Python, Stata, etc. For AI, being an expert in algorithm design is necessary.

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Salaries for Artificial Intelligence Engineers and Data Scientists

In my professional journey, I’ve noticed a growing interest in the salaries for Artificial Intelligence Engineers and Data Scientists, reflecting the high demand and pivotal role these positions play in today’s technology-driven landscape. The debate around “data science vs artificial intelligence” extends beyond their applications and into compensation, where both fields offer lucrative opportunities. Artificial Intelligence Engineers who design and implement AI models often command higher salaries due to the specialized skills and expertise required in creating intelligent systems. Data Scientists, on the other hand, analyze and interpret complex data to inform strategic decisions, a role that is equally critical and well-compensated. The salary differences reflect the varying levels of specialization and the distinct impact each role has on leveraging data and AI within organizations. For professionals considering a career in either field, understanding the nuances in compensation can guide your path toward these rewarding careers.

How they are Similar? 

 Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are similar in their shared objective of extracting value from data to drive decision-making and innovation. Both fields intersect at the point where they leverage algorithms, computational techniques, and insights to solve complex problems. As a data scientist, I utilize AI to enhance predictive modeling and automate data analysis processes, underscoring the symbiotic relationship between these disciplines. Data Science provides the framework for analyzing data, while AI applies this analysis to automate tasks and mimic human intelligence. This convergence is pivotal in advancing technologies that rely on data-driven insights to improve efficiency, accuracy, and outcomes across various sectors. Understanding the complementary nature of Data Science and AI is crucial for professionals aiming to harness the full potential of data in solving real-world challenges.  


In my professional experience, I have noticed the changing landscape of “data science vs AI” and how they both have distinct yet complementary effects on the market. The vast potential of Artificial Intelligence is yet to be fully explored. AI transforms product development by automating tasks and improving product functionality, introducing innovation and autonomy to operations. 

Data science transforms data for visualization and analysis, playing a crucial role in informing strategic business decisions and offering substantial benefits to companies. This association between Data Science and AI is pivotal, as Data Science provides insights and AI applies them to innovate and automate, driving forward modern business strategies. Understanding the interplay of “data science vs AI” is essential for professionals navigating these dynamic fields effectively. 

There are many companies based on Artificial Intelligence that offer pure AI job positions such as NLP Scientist, Machine Learning Engineer, and Deep Learning Scientist. Various operations on data are performed using the Data Science algorithms implemented in languages like Python and R. Key decisions today are taken based on the Data that is processed by Data scientists. Thus, Data science has to play a vital role in any organization. 

If you are curious about learning data science to be in the front of fast-paced technological advancements, check out upGrad & IIIT-B’s Executive PG Programme in Data Science.

Why do we need to keep our databases up to date?

The goal of database maintenance is to keep the database clean and well-organized in order to prevent it from becoming unusable. Simply backing up the data so that another copy is available in the case of a disaster is one of the most important parts of database management.

What are AI's primary objectives?

Artificial planning aids agents in determining the best course of action to take to attain their objectives. Reasoning, knowledge representation, planning, learning, natural language processing, vision, and the capacity to move and control things are all traditional AI research aims. The artificial intelligence-assisted process of building robots that can read and comprehend human languages is known as natural learning processing.

What role does data visualization play in the development of AI projects?

Data visualization helps us comprehend what data means by putting it in a visual context, such as maps or graphs. This makes the data easier for the human mind to comprehend, making it easier to see trends, patterns, and outliers in large data sets. Data visualization is an important assessment criterion for deep learning since the ultimate goal of artificial intelligence is to create a machine that can grasp and respond to data even better than a person. Data visualization has shown to be important in AI development since it may help both AI engineers and others concerned about AI adoption understand and explain these systems.

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