Does Your Company Need a Data Scientist?Natalia Persin
The term data scientist is something that came on the workplace scene several years ago to describe someone who works with the data of a company. While at the time it was unclear what qualifications were needed for someone with this job title, the role has evolved exponentially.
Today, knowing whether or not your company needs a data scientist depends entirely on what type of business you have and what type of presence you have. This can refer to social media presence and how much data and technology are used in your industry.
Wondering if your company needs a data scientist to join your team? Read on to find out.
What is a Data Scientist?
While the role began as many companies realized that they needed an expert in place who could make sense of the overwhelming amount of data there was, the role has expanded over the years.
In fact, at the beginning of the role, there were not enough people that could be called data scientists or a set job description for what the role would entail. As a result, many of the data scientists that started came from other industries that had some expertise in statistics or other technical fields.
Over time, the role of the data scientist has shifted somewhat, and more and more clarity about the position has come to light. Because of this, there are now educational programs in various universities that offer data science as a major.
Today, the role of the data scientist refers to the person in the company who is tasked with analyzing the data that comes in through various means. In addition, they also are tasked with other areas such as machine learning and AI automation.
The bottom line is that the data scientist is a vital role in many companies that are in the business of producing big data. An expert in the field of data analysis is needed to ensure that the company is moving forward and not just staying stagnant.
What Does a Data Scientist Do?
Because the role of the data scientist has evolved over the years, there are more and more university programs that are popping up to address the issue. Many of these programs are designed to produce more highly qualified individuals in the field of data science.
But, what does this mean for companies? It means that once you have decided that your business requires a person who is qualified to handle the plethora of data in your company, finding the right person can take time.
Depending on the industry your company is in, a data scientist is often a necessary role that is needed. In essence, the role of a data scientist is tasked with ensuring that there is an infrastructure in place to not only create data flows but to analyze what the data is doing for the company.
Additionally, data scientists much of this data analysis can be used to help prevent or lessen the risk of fraud within the company. Doing this requires a vast knowledge in the areas of statistics, information technology, as well as data analytics.
Many data scientists then move on to the experimental phase of the job description by creating various ways to help the company grow. This can mean the creation of analytics that involve how and where to place various products to attract the right kind of attention.
Machine learning is also an area that data scientists specialize in to help the company to better understand and create better customer experiences. This often translates into being able to provide the best customer support and experiences to bring in more customers.
The bottom line is that data science, while not brand new to the workplace, is still an area that is changing and growing. Many companies believe that the role of the data scientist may be too broad and have remedied this by adding other roles that support them.
Does Your Company Need a Data Scientist?
Deciding whether or not your company needs a data scientist can depend entirely on a few factors including the industry you are in. In addition to the industry, other factors can influence your decision of whether or not to bring in a data scientist.
One of the most important factors in deciding whether or not your company is ready or even needs a data scientist is affordability. These professionals are highly trained and qualified to analyze data and build certain infrastructures for your business, therefore, they do not come cheap.
It is essential to understand that most of the professionals in the data science industry, have advanced degrees and knowledge in computer science, statistics, analysis, and information technology. This means that you will likely not be able to afford the position if you are just starting.
Most data scientists can earn anywhere from $120,000 and higher for the type of work they do regularly. This means that knowing this, most of these professionals will look for opportunities that can afford to pay them in this realm.
If you are just starting or are not in a position to pay for a professional data scientist, then you may need to rethink whether or not you need the position for your company.
Another factor that you should consider before you choose to hire a data scientist is the type of company that you have. This may include the industry with which you are associated and the scope of the work you do.
If you are a data-driven company, you are more likely to need someone who is an expert in data to help you sift through the information. For those companies that are not data-driven, you may have a difficult time keeping a data scientist since they may not have a set place in the business.
The bottom line for this factor of deciding whether or not you need a data scientist is what industry and type of work you do daily. If it is focused on data and technology then you may need someone who is an expert in the field of data science.
Along with the industry and scope of work you do within your company, there is the factor of how much need you have overall. This factor is important because before deciding to hire a data scientist, you will need to ensure you have enough work for them to do.
In most cases, data scientists are looking for a career that is focused on their training, that can pay them what they are worth, and that can challenge them in a variety of ways. If your company is not there yet, then it may not be time to hire a data scientist.
Overall, whether you are just starting in your company or have been at it for a while, you will need to ensure that you have the data needed to support hiring a data scientist. If you hire too early, you may find yourself having to replace the position over and over again.
Benefits of Having a Data Scientist for Your Company
As with most positions that a company chooses to hire, there are many benefits to creating the position of a data scientist. Keep in mind that the above-mentioned criteria are needed before your company can justify hiring an experienced data scientist.
If your company is at the point where it is data-driven, has the means to afford a professional, and can keep them busy enough, you may be ready to hire a data scientist. If you are still unsure, you may want to take a look at some of the benefits of doing so.
Improve Decision-Making Processes
Since the role of the data scientist is to perform various analytics on the data coming into the business, they can assist upper management with the decision-making process. This professional often keeps track of the various performances within the data and makes recommendations that can drive the process of moving the company forward.
Reducing Risk and Fraud Potential
A data scientist’s work revolves around analyzing the data that comes into the business and deciding whether or not it is a risk. Because of this, they can give warnings and make decisions that will help the company mitigate the risks and reduce the potential for fraudulent behavior.
Make Recommendations for Action
Another feature most data scientists are trained to look for is various trends within the data that can help the company move forward. This often means that they can help management and staff create better customer experiences through engagement that will, in turn, increase performance and profitability.
Provide Professional Development to Staff
While the data scientists’ main focus is to ensure that the data coming into the company is used in the best way possible, they can also help with ensuring staff knows the purpose behind processes. When staff has a better understanding of why certain analytics are used and what they mean, the company can grow exponentially.
Increase Opportunities for Company Growth
Because the data scientist is always in the weeds of the data, they can see trends and opportunities before others in the organization. This means that they can increase opportunities for the company to grow by making recommendations based on these trends.
Provide Evidence-Based Strategies
Most people know that the only way to grow a business is to use the data to drive the decision-making process. The data scientist can help management with the evidence they need to make certain decisions that will often lead to more positive outcomes.
Create Experiments on Recommendations
When it comes to making decisions that are intended to grow the organization, there is always a risk that what you put in place may not work as well as you would like it to. This is where the data scientist comes into play with their ability to measure certain analytics and aspects of the decision and compare it to past data to support the movement.
Assisting Management with Customer Focus
One of the most important areas of ensuring that your business is on target to grow is always analyzing and keeping a watchful eye on customer behavior. A data scientist is highly qualified to help management with customer focus to make sure that they are focusing their advertising efforts in the right direction.
Improved Talent Recruitment
A task that has historically been overwhelming and somewhat daunting for managers has been in the area of recruitment. With the help and guidance of a data scientist, sifting through resumes is not the only way to ensure that you are attracting the best talent.
Since a data scientist has analytical skills, they can do a deeper dive into the various candidates to ensure management is looking and attracting the best. This means that a data scientist can help improve the talent recruitment process to help management with the time it takes to vet certain candidates.
Help Business Owners to Know More
While business owners are historically known to be the experts when it comes to the ins and outs of their businesses, data scientists can take this a step further. By running certain analytics and studying past data, these professionals can help business owners know even more about their businesses, thus helping them grow.
When is the Right Time to Hire a Data Scientist for Your Company?
While knowing the benefits and drawbacks of hiring a data scientist is important, some companies wonder when is the right time to hire one of these professionals. The bottom line is that there are specific indicators that will tell you whether or not your company is ready to take this step.
Here are some of the criteria that will help you determine whether or not it is the right time to hire a data scientist:
- Your company collects data but is not sure what to do with the plethora of data that exists
- Your business is stagnant and you need more information to help in the decision-making processes
- You have systems in place to help collect data but no process in place to analyze the data
- You have a data-driven management team but no expert to help dive deeper into the data that exists
Is Your Company Ready for a Data Scientist?
Now that you have all of the information you need to determine whether or not your company needs a data scientist, making the decision should be much easier. This is especially true in the workplace today where AI automation is taking a prominent place in the landscape.