Data Scientists Want Respect & Results

In the big data era, there’s lot of angst about how to hire or train data analytics experts. But IT leaders also need to retain and motivate those teams once they’re in place.

Of all the traits needed to be a data scientist, the most highly regarded is the ability to bridge the IT/business divide. A technical background is essential, but understanding business needs trumps technical acumen alone, according to big data practitioners.

At the recent Informs business analytics conference in Boston, a panel of analytics managers from Google, Ford, Accenture, Disney, and Macy’s discussed tips on hiring and leading data analytics teams.

Two key takeaways:

Poor communication skills = poor candidate

A data scientist need not be a brash extrovert, but with the push to make IT a strategic partner with business units, if a candidate can’t discuss how data trends relate to key business decisions, his or her Hadoop expertise won’t mean as much.

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