So, You Have Become a Data Scientist… So, You Have Hired a Data Scientist

Every day brings news about near universal acceptance of Data Science as a mainstream inter-disciplinary professional field and about emerging partnerships between innovative universities and #BigData and #Cloud technology vendors.  Reportedly, there will be 4.4 million new #BigData related jobs created worldwide by 2015.  Just a week ago IBM announced new academic collaborations with universities across the globe, focusing on #BigData and #DataAnalytics

Increasingly, companies and organizations of all types and sizes are crying S.O.S. about growing shortage of qualified #BigData and #DataAnalytics professionals.  #DataScientist is now a common job title, and a mix of #DataScience education and experience is required to qualify.

But a lot of companies eager to employ Data Scientists have not created conditions for their maximum success.  #BigData and #BigDataAnalytics is not an evolutionary change.  In many ways, it is a disruptive paradigm shift and game-changing avalanche of new enabling capabilities.  Unless companies and organization adapt their business processes and structures, they will end up with yet another organizational and data silo, in which innovation is starved and #BigData and #Analytics opportunities are wasted,

So, if you hire a Data Scientist,

  1. Where will she/he fit in the organizational structure?  What will be her/his sphere of influence?
  2. In what areas will she/he be involved as a stakeholder?
  3. How will her/his work fit in the project plan, Agile IT and Engineering process?
  4. Will she/he be a manager, an individual contributor, a product manager, or a “go-to” person without organizational affinity?
  5. Who will she/he report to? Who will be her/his peers? Will she/he be teamed up with engineers, other data scientists, or anybody else?   Will she/he be part of a Scrum team?
  6. Is the present organizational structure and culture conducive or detrimental for her/his job success and how willing and ready is the company or organization to adapt, change, or even restructure?

If you are a CXO and don’t have answers to these questions, time to roll up sleeves.