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How Do I Choose and Hire the Best Data Scientist?

Are you considering hiring your first data scientist or setting up a team of data scientists in your organization? Due to the obscurity of the field, it can be a daunting task to get the best data scientist.

In the last decade, we saw a rising demand for data scientists as companies tried to hire their first data scientist or expand their data team. Late adopters have a hard time hiring since the market is experiencing a shortage of data scientists. But all is not lost as there are many ways to attract the best data scientists to your organization.

The best data scientist can vary depending on the needs of your business. Before hiring, you should consider what value the person is bringing to your organization. Some are more useful in business intelligence, while others are more valuable in solving technical data problems.

Who Is a Data Scientist?

A data scientist is a person who collects and processes data to gain actionable insights used in decision-making. The role combines the use of statistics, math, and computer programming.

Most data scientists specialize in specific niches such as healthcare, business, and finance. They analyze data in their particular field to derive trends that can inform decision-making.

Hiring the Best Data Scientist

Due to the technicality of the field, you may lean towards quantitative skills neglecting soft skills, which are as important. To hire a data scientist, many factors come to play. Below are the distinguished skills to check when hiring the best data scientist:

Technical Skills

The scope of a data scientist involves using quantitative skills to manipulate data and create models. Thus, the person should have good programming knowledge in standard languages such as Python, R language, and SQL.

The field of data science is characterized by a wide array of tools to complete specific tasks. But, this shouldn’t limit your ideal candidate, as you can always train them on the tools your organization uses. The grasp of one programming language is proof enough the person can write code.

Data Intelligence

This is the quality and characteristic associated with solving problems using facts. Data intelligence entails having adequate experience working with the different structures of data. Data can either be structured or unstructured; the latter can be a real headache in most cases.

The big data industry is snowballing, hence the need to analyze as much data as possible to drive the decisions made by businesses. You need a data scientist who can work with big data frameworks such as Hadoop and spark.

More so, the ability to design algorithms that automate data manipulation will be an added advantage for your data needs.

Analytical Skills

The best data scientist should have an analytical thinking mindset to derive meaningful insights from data. This enables the person to look at data from different perspectives to inform the business’ decisions. It’s essential in manipulating variables to see their effect on other business variables.

Analytical thinking entails these critical aspects:

● Big-picture and detail-oriented thinking

● Strategy formulation

● Visualization

● Problem-orientation

● Correlation

The best data scientist should include all the above aspects during analytical thinking to gain insights. The insights influence an entity to become a data-driven business.

Communication Skills

Techies create incredible inventions but communicating their solutions to stakeholders becomes an issue. Hence, blending such a person to work in a team can at times be problematic.

In business cases, data scientists work with different professionals to solve a problem in a particular niche. Assess how the candidate explains technology juggernauts to get everyone in the team onboard.

Data-related projects entail people with different backgrounds coming together to work. Such a project’s success may depend on how well the data scientist communicates to the team.

Machine Learning Optimization Skills

Machine learning uses computers to learn data patterns and perform operations imitating humans. Computers are trained to make predictions and decisions depending on patterns and trends found in data. In recent years the application of machine learning models to solve business problems has skyrocketed.

The efficiency of machine learning models depends on the accuracy of the model. You need a data scientist who has honed their skills in optimizing and setting the correct hyperparameters for the models. The success of Netflix is attributed to the application of recommendation models.

The best candidate should show competency in deploying the models to production. Machine learning can be a bit tricky to understand. Thus, the best data scientist should explain the concept behind the models to their colleagues more easily.

Data Management Skills

Data management is the collection and storing of data securely to use later to make decisions. There’s a lot to data science rather than data processing and manipulation. If your business generates a lot of data, you need someone with excellent data management skills to design your data warehouse.

Data Visualization Skills

This is the visual representation of data using visual elements such as graphs, charts, and maps. In the age of big data, visualization is essential to make sense of the vast amount of data analyzed. It enables storytelling, creating a better understanding of the underlying data to stakeholders.

The best data scientist should be able to create visualizations that tell a story. This will go a long way in informing business leaders by highlighting trends and patterns.

Attain a Great Return on Investment by Hiring the Best Data Scientist

Including all the factors in the interview process will guarantee you to get the best data scientist in the market. You may also consider someone who has a bit of industry knowledge in the field of your business.

Data science is not all about the tools one uses but the analytical mindset to find insights from data.

Found this article helpful? Check out our other blogs on technology, real estate, and business.

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