Hiring a data scientist, what should you look for?

Data science is the process of extracting knowledge or insights from data. As businesses gather more data from various sources there is becoming a growing demand for data scientists to allow businesses to utilise the information they are gathering but finding the right one in a competitive industry can be a struggle.

The rise of multimedia, social media and the internet of things now means that businesses have access to more data than ever before. Firms are increasingly using these large data sets to underpin productivity growth, innovation and competition. As the volume and detail of information increases it is becoming more important for businesses to have a professional that can utilise and extract the most useful parts.

As well as ensuring the consistency of data sets, a data scientist should be able to create visualisations of the information to improve understanding, build mathematical models and communicate the findings. The fast paced nature of modern business means that it’s vital for data scientists to quickly deliver their information and insights. While the data scientist you should hire will depend on your business and what you want to achieve, there are some qualities you should always look out for.

  • A flexible approach – Big data can be complex and engaging new business problems will require a flexible approach. Give candidates some problems to solve during the recruitment process and see how they tackle the issues to see if they can think outside of the box.
  • A mix of skills – Maths and statistical skills are vital for an excellent data scientist but so are programming and communication skills. You need to find somebody with the right mix of skills for your data and what you want to achieve from gathering the information. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have a clear vision in your head before you start drawing up a short list of candidates.
  • Detail orientated – Data science involves looking for the details and patterns in huge amounts of information so somebody that is detail orientated is crucial. Staff that are focussed on the details are also less likely to make mistake, reducing inaccurate results.
  • Someone who can tell a story – Analysing the information and understanding it themselves is only part of a data scientists job. They also need to be able to paint a story with the insights they have gathered, making the information accessible to a wide audience.
  • A good business understanding – A data scientist should have a good business understanding and be able to grasp the problems that a business faces. Without some business acumen it’ll be difficult for them to pull out and visualise the information that could have the biggest impact.

To discover more about recruiting a Data Scientist, register free for Big Data LDN at Olympia London on 3-4 November 2016 and speak with exclusive staffing partners Eden Smith. The event will host leading, global data and analytics experts, ready to arm you with the tools to deliver your most effective data-driven strategy.

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