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How is this site different from stack overflow or cross validate? The topics covered are so similar. Both deal with coding and machine learning.

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I disagree. I've recently started to participate in all three of those communities (although particularly more active in stack overflow) and the differences are considerable.

  • Stack Overflow is a general purpose Q&A site for programming.
  • Cross Validated has evolved to a far more abstract Q&A site (so you talk more about the mathematics and less about how to use them, it has a strong community of statisticians).
  • Data Science is still very early in its existence but I predict it will be a more practical approach to data analysis with questions like: "How can I remove noise from data?; How to do prediction in ...?; Where can I get training data for this phenomena?"

Generally speaking I think this community is a good idea. It just needs time to gain more followers, credibility and, perhaps more importantly, identity. And the reason I say more importantly is because the very profession of Data Scientist is still in it's infancy and the current definition, if it exists, is constantly evolving. But nonetheless more and more companies are asking for Data Scientists. There must be a reason...

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