Jun 03, 2019 - 01:23 PM
- top quartile (minimum) hard skills, including analytical and quantitative skills
- soft skills, especially communication
- highly refined problem-solving skills
- business savvy
- personal characteristics of a mature independent researcher, especially self-directedness and curiosity
Most prospective data scientists already know what hard skills they need and are diligent to obtain them: data querying and structuring, data analysis (textual, spatial, statistical), visualization, and the coding chops that go along with all of it.
But to really stand out you need more than just hard skills. At the top of the list of other skills you need is business savvy. Data scientists are called on to address real business problems situated in real life, with real money at stake. You need to get conversant at what needles business managers are trying to move, how the bureaucracy works, and especially managing up. Picking up some project management skills can also be valuable.
Presentation and communication skills are also critical. A big part of your job is helping others make sense of complex problems and advising them on how to tackle them. Finally, you need to cultivate your natural curiosity to liberate your company’s data, and lead the way for building a data-driven organization.