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Data Scientists Want Respect & Results

Analytics managers from Macy's, Ford, and Google offer tips on how to integrate and inspire data scientists.

In the big data era, there's lot of angst about how to hire or traindata analytics experts. But IT leaders also need to retain and motivate those teams once they're in place.

Of all the traits neededto be a data scientist, the most highly regarded is the ability to bridge the IT/business divide. A technical background is essential, but understanding business needs trumps technical acumen alone, according to big data practitioners.

[Not all data scientists need a math or economics background. Read Want Big Data Success? Hire a Biologist]

At the recent Informs business analytics conference in Boston, a panel of analytics managers from Google, Ford, Accenture, Disney, and Macy's discussed tips on hiring and leading data analytics teams.

Two key takeaways:

Poor communication skills = poor candidate
A data scientist need not be a brash extrovert, but with the push to make IT a strategic partner with business units, if a candidate can't discuss how data trends relate to key business decisions, his or her Hadoop expertise won't mean as much.

"The inability to communicate with business decision-makers is not just a negative, it's a roadblock," says Jeanne Harris, global managing director of IT research at Accenture and author of two books on analytics.

Read the full story on Information Week

Shane O'Neill is Managing Editor for InformationWeek. Prior to joining InformationWeek, he served in various roles at CIO.com, most notably as assistant managing editor and senior writer covering Microsoft. He has also been an editor and writer at eWeek and TechTarget. ... View Full Bio

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