Home > Blog > Time to Hire a Data Scientist? Here’s What to Look For.

6-11-13 Time to hire a data scientistAs demand for the conversion of unstructured data into actionable business insights continues to grow, we will see an even greater demand to recruit and hire big data experts to come in and make sense of it all. Many companies have no clue where to start considering that big data analysis requires a multi-disciplinary approach using a diverse set of skills. Given that, we’ve assembled a list of the key characteristics that make a good data scientist and what qualities you should mine for in the interview process.


Clearly, when looking for a data expert you want to hire someone who has the demonstrated ability to analyze, calculate and quantify data. Big data is a challenging, complex area and data scientists need to be able to logically address large data sets and analyze and arrange it so that it can be useful to organizations.


Exceptional organizational skills also top the list of characteristics to look for in a data expert. Big data’s challenges include the fact that the information it produces is hard to compute using traditional infrastructures making it extremely hard to organize and arrange.


It can be quite the challenge to find highly-analytical candidates who are also creative thinkers. Big data requires the ability to determine how the insights it provides can be used to meet the organization’s business objectives. Data experts should be able to go beyond data analysis, but also be able to determine valuable, creative uses for the information.


Big data requires an understanding of human nature in order for any insights gained to be put to good use. Not only should your data scientist be adept at working in a team environment within your organization, but he or she should also understand that the purpose of the data is the insight it provides about the humans behind it. Business objectives and strategy will be derived from the work, but ultimately it’s about people.

Able to Communicate

Once the massive amount of information is gathered, a good data scientist is able to communicate it in a way that non-technical people can understand. This can be quite a challenge considering the high-level of technical, complex data that has to be condensed down. Thoughts and ideas must be translated effectively, but without weighty, detailed scientific explanations.

Patient, Persistent and Driven

Analyzing big data requires a patient, persistent attitude that’s driven by a curious nature. Data experts should be willing to spend hours exploring possibilities and correlations and connections that may not even be there. They should be curious about breaks in patterns and oddities in certain behaviors and willing to tirelessly explore what may — or may not — lie behind that information. They should view what others may see as a dead end as a new possibility, and patiently weed through an endless amount of obtuse, expansive data to dig out useful information.

If your organization needs help managing big data, contact the experts at Infovision to see how we can help find the BI solution that’s right for your organization.

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