The Growing Importance of Data Scientists

    Data is as strategically important to business as products and services. Today, some companies are built around only data. And the buzz words around the boardroom have been more about data analytics and Big Data for the past few years.

    As data has taken on such a prime role in business, so of course have those who are involved with handling the data. And one position in particular is often highly regarded: the data scientist.

    The job of the data scientist is fairly new to the business world. In most companies, the role consists of duties that involve both business data analysis and technology. So most people who fill such positions have experience on both sides of the data fence—a sort of hybrid of the best of both worlds.

    In some organizations, there may not be just one data scientist, but a whole team that fulfills the roles and duties. The idea of having such a team may stem from the fact that it’s difficult to find one person who has experience and can perform the various roles that a data scientist position requires.

    So exactly what are the qualifications required of a data scientist? In our downloads area, you can find our Job Description: Data Scientist PDF. In it, you will read a sample listing for a data scientist position for a business company with a website and mobile site providing digital products that seeks someone talented in both Hadoop-based data management and who is familiar with programming languages.

    According to the download, an experienced data scientist:

    • Has statistical modeling and technical engineering skills
    • Is hands-on and not just theoretical about data
    • Can use analytics to drive key success metrics

    Other experts have offered that data scientists should have experience creating and designing the infrastructure for processing and managing the company’s data. The role should act as a leader, a sort of data steward, but also be able to understand the process behind management and analysis of the data.

    The download can be used as a template toward creating your company’s job posting for a data scientist, but be sure to tailor the message based on specific business needs. Include details of technologies used in your business processes and explain any Big Data responsibilities that might also be integral to the position.

    Kim Mays has been editing and writing about IT since 1999. She currently tackles the topics of small to midsize business technology and introducing new tools for IT. Follow Kim on Google+ at or Twitter @blumoonky.

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