Filling specialized technical roles has never been easy, but finding qualified data analysts, data scientists, and data engineers has to be among the toughest tasks for a company. As businesses gain access to more and more information on their customers, market, and operations, that data is only so much noise when they don’t have the right people to gather the right data and analyze it for actionable insights.
The difficulty of finding and successfully recruiting well-trained candidates is directly proportional to the range and depth of knowledge an individual needs to gain in order to pursue a career in data science. Rather than charging ahead and experiencing the frustration that comes from lack of interest or rejected job offers, you need to understand what you’re looking for and carefully plan your recruiting process.
The preparation to become a data scientist brings together a wide set of skills that enables them to effectively access, process, and analyze vast sets of information, then communicate their findings effectively to a general audience. This requires:
Programming knowledge: Most data scientists are familiar with Python, a high-level general purposes programming language, and R, a programming language for statistical computing. They must also be proficient at version control, because tracking and managing source code changes as they write code files to explore a dataset is critical for effective analysis and understanding.
Database skills: They must interact and communicate effectively with databases, which requires knowledge of Structured Query Language (SQL). They also need the skills to identify the correct dataset for accurate analysis or the correct method for analyzing the dataset they need to explore.
Math proficiency: Math is the core of data science, and to understand its concepts, analysts need to understand the basics of probability theory, statistics, and linear algebra, at minimum.
Machine learning ability: This capability enables them to implement algorithms and statistical models to automatically process data.
Communication & visualization: Turning findings into action requires explaining complex concepts in simple terms to a general audience. Strong communication and public speaking skills are key to this role, as is effectively visualizing results to make trends and patterns accessible.
On top of these areas of learning, an effective data scientist needs good business intuition, strong analytical and critical thinking skills, and good interpersonal skills, as they can play a crucial role in helping organizations make sound, well-informed decisions. In that light, it’s no wonder that despite the longstanding demand for data scientists, positions are still difficult to fill. That’s where a data engineer recruiter can step in and help with the headhunting process.
The challenge of finding the right data analyst, data scientist, or data engineer for your organization can be more than offset by the beneficial outcomes produced by their strategic insights. For example, a data scientist set to work on problems of financial governance can help set the correct key performance indicators to measure your organization’s effectiveness and progress toward its goals. Or an analyst could guide decision-making through market research that identifies new business opportunities, or research that optimizes factory operations.
Another area in which data science can be invaluable is forensic analysis, digging to the core of possible causes to problems. Data scientist Frances Haugen did just that when she dug into the flaws in Facebook’s algorithms that amplified dangerous content on the social media platform. In short, data scientists unlock valuable knowledge from where it is hidden in plain sight—in the vast amounts of information that could go unanalyzed and misunderstood without expert skills.
When you’re up against a competitive market, you need every advantage you can get in recruiting. Integress is a boutique technical search firm that can give you the edge in finding the right person and convincing them to come work for you. We have the expertise to match your company’s needs and culture with the right candidate and help you craft a winning offer. To find out more about how we can overcome your technical hiring challenges, contact us here.