In fields where large amounts of important data are generated - medicine and business are two examples - organizations have long felt the need for systematized techniques to gather information, report conclusions, and analyze data in a way that's useful for research or decision-making. This is what the overlapping fields of data science and informatics aim to achieve.
As part of a degree in this field, you will be provided with an extensive foundation in mathematics, statistics, programming, and computing. Machine learning, neural networks, data mining, and database design are covered in detail, while the ethical concerns related to using large data sets are also laid out.
While the tools used to understand and manipulate "Big Data" mostly remain the same across different industries, data science students will generally choose a minor related to some application of their main subject. Bioinformatics and economics are popular choices.