How to Find the Mythical “Perfect Data Scientist”

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There are currently over 400K job openings in the U.S. for data scientists on LinkedIn. And, every single one of these companies wants to hire that magical unicorn of a data scientist that can do it all.

What rare skill set should they be looking for? Conor Jensen, RVP of AI Strategy at AI and data analytics provider Dataiku, has boiled it all down to the following: 

  1. Communicates Effectively to Business Users: To let the data tell a story, a data scientist needs to be able to take complex statistics and convey the results persuasively to any audience.
  2. Knows Your Business: A data scientist needs to have an overall understanding of the key challenges in your industry, and consequently, your business. 
  3. Understands Statistical Phenomena: Data scientists must be able to correctly interpret statistics: is a result representative or not? This skill is key, since the majority of stats that are analyzed contain statistical bias that needs correcting.
  4. Makes Efficient Predictions: The data scientist must have a broad knowledge of algorithms to select the right one, which features to adjust to best feed the mode, and how to combine complimentative data. 
  5. Provides Production-Ready Solutions: Today’s data scientists need to provide services that can run daily, on live data. 
  6. Can Work On A Mass Scale: A data scientist must know how to handle multi-terabyte datasets to build a robust model that holds up in production. In practice this means that they need to have a good idea of computation time, what can be done in memory and what requires Hadoop and MapReduce.

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