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Do you want to hire a Data Scientist?

As mentioned by Tom Davenport few years back,Data Scientist is still a hottest job of century. Data scientists are those elite people who solve business problems by analyzing tons of data and communicate the results in a very compelling way to senior leadership and persuade them to take action.

They have the critical responsibility to understand the data and help business get more knowledgeable about their customers.

The importance of Data Scientists has rose to top due to two key issues:

  • Increased need & desire among businesses to gain greater value from their data to be competitive
  • Over 80% of data/information that businesses generate and collect is unstructured or semi-structured data that need special treatment

So it is extremely important to hire a right person for the job.Requirements for being a data scientist are pretty rigorous, and truly qualified candidates are few and far between. Data Scientists are very high in demand, hard to attract, come at a very high cost so if there is a wrong hire then it’s really more frustrating.  Here are some guidelines for checking them:

  • Check the logical reasoning ability
  • Problem solving skills
  • Ability to collaborate & communicate with business folks
  • Practical experience on collaborating Big Data tools
  • Statistical and machine learning experience
  • Should be able to describe their projects very clearly where they have solved business problems
  • Should be able to tell story from the data
  • Should know the latest of cognitive computing, deep learning

I have seen smartest data scientists in my career who do the best job best but cannot communicate the results to senior leaders effectively. Ideally they should know the data in depth and can explain its significance properly. Data visualizations comes very handy at this stage. Today with digital disrupting every field it has an impact on data science also. Gartner has called this new breed as citizen data scientists. Their primary job function is outside analytics, they don’t know much about statistics but can work on ready to use algorithms available in APIs like Watson, Tensor flow, Azure and other well-known tools.

The good data scientist can make use of them to spread the awareness and expand their influence. It has become more important to hire a right data scientist as they will show you the results which may make or break the company.

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Comment by Marie L Clark on August 11, 2017 at 3:42am

Thanks for sharing Sandeep! I especially appreciate the guidelines for vetting potential data science candidates.  

Personally, I believe that the current definition of a "Data Scientist" is too broad; encompassing everything from Data Engineering to Executive Storytelling & Influencing. Data Science is a team sport; a multi-disciplinary effort! The collective body of knowledge has become so vast that most everything must be accomplished through collaboration.

 Therefore, I would say that being on a data science team is the hottest opportunity of the 21st Century!!!!

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