As coder is for code, X is for data

For code we have the term coder, as in, “he’s a great coder”, but what do we use when talking about data? **datanaut, datar, data wrangler, data hacker, data geek …?**

**Suggestions (and votes) please in a comment or tweet! (@okfn or @rufuspollock)**

Would also be nice to have equivalents for the many variations that code has: hacker, geek, codesmith, programmer …

**Update: 14h in …**

So far have the following list. Many of these are 2 word versions of form data + ‘something’. I personally have a preference for just one word (as in coder versus software developer …).

Single words (generally newly coined!):

* datasmith (x5)
* datamancer (x2)
* datar
* datanaut
* semanengineer ([@rupertredington](http://twitter.com/rupertredington))
* datacist ([@jluismarin](http://twitter.com/jluismarin))
* datonator (!) [@leogaggl](http://identi.ca/leogaggl))
* datumologist

Two words

* data wrangler (x3)
* data geek (x2)
* data nerds (Hjalmar)
* data cruncher (Conrad)
* data juggler (Conrad – job description!)
* data artist ([@psychemedia](http://twitter.com/psychemedia))
* data mechanic ([@exmosis](http://twitter.com/exmosis))
* data engineer ([@Laura_B_James](@http://twitter.com/Laura_B_James))
* data scientist
* data prospector ([Francis Irving](http://flourish.org/))
* data researcher (may be a bit different)
* data ninja ([Ted Smith](http://www.hhs.gov/open))
* data investigator
* data shepherd ([Eric Hellman](http://go-to-hellman.blogspot.com/))
* data analyst
* spreadsheet monkey

Other (existing general word but possibly applicable here):

* curator
* statistician
* learner ([Benny Daon](http://yeda.us/))
* donor

23 thoughts on “As coder is for code, X is for data”

  1. I like datasmith – partly because it would work well as a surname, should we want a new round of occupation-based names :) , mostly because it invokes a sense of forging useful things out of intransigent raw material

  2. A coder gives code, like a donor (Latin for giver) gives data (Latin for given). Therefore X = donor. @HoverBee

  3. I think the term ‘curator’ captures the requirement well. A curator is literally someone who cares, and the push for Open Data requires people who care about the data – its quality, veracity, timeliness.

    There is also a need for wranglers and statisticians – those who take the data and make it make sense to the greater public – but the data needs to be curated.

  4. I think Datasmith is the one – will be using it as my new surname.

    I can only really add Dataphile. This is a good question for the Quora community to have a stab at.

  5. We need this role definition, but I think it has to be a bit broader – we need to find a word to describe someone who enriches DIKW – data, information, knowledge and wisdom.

    My word would be learner and a great learner is someone who artfully enriches a given DIKW.

  6. In one of my old jobs, officially I was a “data analyst”, or more colloquially as “spreadsheet monkey”…

  7. Have to enter this albeit a year late – with such a great conceptual brain storm having gone on – I’m going to talk about this on our blog space (which wasn’t around last year). The “Data Journalist” is the new news gatherer and we’re finding them in media everywhere. I guess in a company, a “Data-ite” might work or “Data-vangelist”or even “Dater” (as opposed to your “Datar”). That works especially well with your analogy of code … coder … data … dater ….

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