Big data has grown in popularity over the past few years. Businesses have come to see the benefits and have begun a scramble to take advantage of this burgeoning new field that is an intersection of computer science, statistics and business. The trick, however, is to make sure that your business is well-equipped to take advantage of big data. That means having both the tools and the skills to be able to glean new insights from the data. The professionals who have both of these are the data scientists.

Data scientist giving presentation

Data science has become one of the sexiest jobs of the 21st century because of the growing popularity of big data. Companies are now constantly looking to hire data scientists, which has driven demands. Data scientists command high salaries with data scientist jobs U.K. salary being among the highest. As a result of the rush, many major decision makers are wondering whether it’s all worth it to bring a data scientist in after all. The short answer is “yes.” It is very important to have a data scientist on your team or at least to consult with one to take advantage of your data. The long answer is that you should make some considerations before you take the plunge.03

Who Is a Data Scientist? Hiring a Data Scientist ― Is It Worth it?

A good first step to determining whether you need a data scientist is to know what they do. To begin, data analysts and data scientists are somewhat related in that they both analyze and evaluate large data sets. However, the data scientist typically deals with much larger data-sets than the data analyst. They consequently have to use more advanced tools like machine learning algorithms to get patterns and trends out of these data sets.

What Will Their Role Be in Your Company?

data scientist at work.Knowing what a data scientist does is not enough; you also have to know what role they’ll play at your company. The role is usually new for most companies, which means that there isn’t a universal definition. All data scientists head the company’s big data projects. However, they don’t all come from the same backgrounds or even use the same styles.

Some data scientists are stronger in statistics, and so they are better at picking the signal out from the noise. Others are stronger in computer science and will develop all the right machine learning tools to crunch through the data. Ideally, your data scientist should be well-versed in both. However, chances are they will lean more in one direction than another. You should consider the experience and background of all the applicants you interview and decide if they match with your business expectations for the role.

What Work Will the Data Scientist Do at Your Company?

…For the data scientist to be useful to you, you need to have enough data for them to work with. You need to have a large repository of data already, which means it’s probably not a gmachinood idea to hire a full-time data scientist if you’re still in the early stages of your analytics initiatives. You should also generally know what you want to get out of your data. If your data scientist does not have a sense of direction, they won’t be much use to you, and you won’t see their value. You should be prepared to support the role before you fill it.

To Hire or to Consult?

Data scientist

If you’re a smaller company or have a small data set, then you might be better off consulting with a data scientist temporarily, rather than taking on the large investment of hiring one permanently. An external consultant in the initial stages can help you with your big data issues and can also help you lay out the long term strategy for your big data projects.

As they grow and the need for a full-time data scientist arises, then you can hire one. It’s all about timing.