In the fast paced world of business it seems a common concept that a quick if more expensive solution to a problem is superior to one that takes as greater amount of time and thought. When applied to data this can often mean a great deal of financial outlay on a wide range of storage and analytic products that promise an enormous return of insight and security. Many of these solutions are indeed able to transform the way that your organisation handles its data and interacts with the customer base, but only if matched with the right on site talent.
I was discussing this recently with a senior analytics director at a major telecoms organisation. She asserted that the right people that you need for your data â€˜are both a statistician and software developer', coupled with a â€˜keen sense of curiosity'. Quite a challenge! To go further, it seems as though the modern data scientist needs to have two areas of expertise, one in IT and one in business strategy. A skilled analyst with an equally insightful vision of where analytics needs to be applied is surely more valuable to your organisation than one with solely technical expertise.
This got me thinking about the book that I am reading at the moment, the fascinating biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson. Just last night I was reading about the relationship between Jobs and Wozniak, the first a brilliant if flawed business visionary who made up for lack of technical knowledge with absolute conviction in his product, the second a monumentally skilled technician but without the business drive of his friend and colleague. If your organisation can take the time to find someone with half the technical skills that Wozniak holds, and half the business insight that Jobs had, then you will benefit unbelievably in return.
Having spoken to a number of data scientists in the research phase for Big Data World Europe I know that the talent is out there. It is now up to you to attend the conference and persuade them to join you on your Big Data journey.