Does Your Business Need a Data Scientist?

Data Science Explained

Given that data science is an emerging field, some businesses are questioning what a data scientist actually does and how it differs from other, more established job titles such as data engineer or data analyst.

In this post, we discuss the importance of data scientists for your business and the key differences between associated roles such as data engineers and analysts.

Have you ever searched for a product online and noticed related advertisements on Facebook and other websites continuously for a week? You’ve probably also seen how YouTube suggests your favourite genres.

This is a component of data science. Apart from the subtle way of luring consumers as described, data science is successfully adding value to business models across all industries through advanced statistics, algorithms and deep learning which predicts the future, helps design services and products, mitigate risks and enhance the speed and quality of decision-making.

The Data Push: Recruiting the Right People

There are arguably very few businesses today that are exempt from the so-called big data push, and that do not require the services of a data scientist. The advanced leveraging of data using science is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for competitive strategies. According to Quora, poor data analysis costs companies upwards of $ 9.7 million per annum, rendering it imperative to recruit first-class data scientists.

Data scientists utilise logic and make sense of the plethora of information available; both structured and unstructured. Structured data is normally machine generated such as website traffic statistics, sales figures or GPS coordinates collected by smartphones. Unstructured data is largely human generated and includes customer reviews, emails, videos and social media posts.

When you are confronted with so much available data, you require a team that includes both data scientists and data engineers to work complementarily to convert raw data in ways that make your business more competitive than the rest.

The Difference Between Data Scientists and Data Engineers

The core difference between the two roles is one of focus.  Data engineers build and maintain the infrastructure and architecture for data generation; whilst data scientists work with the information generated using mathematics, advanced modelling, machine learning and artificial intelligence.  

Data scientists contribute to the design of data-driven business tools and create proprietary algorithms to predict consumer behaviour, inform decisions around efficiency, inventory, production errors, customer loyalty and so on. In this way they improve revenue and reduce costs thereby enabling businesses to flourish.

Although a business analyst also works with data to develop strategy; he/she delivers analysis on existing information, rather than code, which is why analysts do not traditionally require qualifications in computer science.

Data engineers support data scientists and analysts. It is therefore essential to create a diverse team that includes a close working relationship between these professionals to help transform information into profits.

Talent Search: Finding a Good Data Scientist

Now that you’ve established the need for a data scientist so that your business does not get left behind; you may be surprised at the lack of response to your job advertisement. The demand for top notch data scientists far outweighs the availability of talent, and you may need assistance from an executive recruitment firm such as Mindcor InterSearch Global.

In most cases, top talent are not on the job market, and may be quite difficult to find, especially given the lack of consistency in job titles. Once identified, it can be extremely tricky trying to convince a data scientist to even meet you for a chat, let alone consider leaving their current employ. The lure of extra income does not always work with scientists.

Speak to one of our highly trained specialists who will be able to connect you with a suitable data scientist for your particular industry.

Mindcor is the South African partner of InterSearch Global.

Graduates, Intersearch, Recruitment, Talent Management, Talent Mapping