Although many organizations have sophisticated processes to track business metrics, it’s difficult for those insights to have an impact if you don’t fully understand what they mean. Enter data scientists, who often have extensive backgrounds in academia and have decided to turn their focus to helping companies understand their data on a deeper level. The value of having an in-house data scientist is becoming evident to many employers. In fact, McKinsey recently predicted that by 2018, there would only be 200,000 available candidates to fill an estimated 490,000 open data science roles. To help you stand out in the extremely crowded marketplace, here are a few things you should know when it’s time to hire a data scientist.
Because the field is always evolving, it’s no surprise to find a number of popular data science forums online. Data Science Central is one of their most relied-upon online resources, offering users both a forum and on-site blogging platform to explore the latest trends. They also turn to sites like KDnuggets, Kaggle, and SmartData Collective for the latest news and discoveries in data science. Additionally, the Cross Validated site on Stack Overflow is a vibrant community of academics eager to discuss the finer points about data science.
While these are great platforms to start conversations with potential data science candidates, keep in mind that the primary goal of users on these sites is to discuss their craft. Feel free to engage with people on these forums, but avoid starting your interactions by telling users that you need to hire a data scientist. If you start by taking a vested interest in what they’re interested in and treat them with respect, you’ll have a much better chance of being able to recruit the people you’re interested in hiring.
There’s quite a bit of work that goes into analyzing and interpreting the information they see on a daily basis. Here are a few specific things data scientists tend to worry about every day.
The data science landscape will inevitably change over the next few years, but your knowledge and willingness to stay on top of the latest trends will go a long way when you're hiring data scientists. If you want to stand out from the competition, you should also know what they look for whenever they evaluate a potential new job. We spoke to Patrick Chandler, Chief Data Scientist at Hykso, about what he looks for when he considers a new position.