Three Surprising Skillsets for Data Professionals

Sam Maughan our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 8/27/2020 9:01 AM
Data Scientists today must be more than the sum of their parts. Businesses who wish to move forward are looking for more industry-specific focus when searching for the right candidate.  

Finding the right professional who not only writes code but can also speak to the Data once it’s analysed to business executives is becoming more important than ever. The title and skills required have expanded and the once ‘unicorn’ aspect of having both the technical and soft skills is no longer rare. It’s essential. 

Data Professionals In Demand 


As everyone moved online, many businesses sat up and took greater notice. Without a Data team today, it’s nearly impossible to conduct business as usual. Add in Machine Learning development and application, Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning for AI, and Neural Network Programming to name a few, businesses need to have professionals in place who can conceive, develop, and implement these applications.  

So, now that businesses can see the importance of having everything in one place, what are they looking for in a candidate?  

Data Engineers and Data Architects are the most sought after. After all, these enterprises need to have professionals on board who can lay the foundation on which to build the Data first. While knowledge of technologies such as Python or Kubernetes is essential, talent with a twist of hybrid experience in Software Engineering is a boon for career advancement. 

Niche skill sets within the applications of Machine Learning such as Reinforcement and Deep Learning are highly desired. Data professionals with an industry-specific focus are quickly becoming the go-to resource for many businesses. They need people who understand not only their business but also how properly processed Data can affect it. 

Three Skillsets for a Post Pandemic World 


While Data Literacy and Tech Savvy are probably the first skillsets which might come to mind, here are a few more which may not seem quite as obvious. 

Critical Thinking and Leadership – With nearly everyone online, it will be imperative for professionals who can lead in a linear fashion. As the gig economy expands and teams become more fluid, different people will have the opportunity to lead at different times. The hierarchal structure is devolving to shared leadership opportunities in which everyone is allowed to shine. Collaboration will be key among remote teams around the world. 

To that end, critical thinking and the ability to separate fact from fiction will be highly regarded. Objectivity will help businesses ensure the right business decisions are being made from an informed team. 

Emotional Intelligence – EQ has risen into the list of soft skill requirements highly desired. Those self-aware individuals who cannot only express and control their emotions but be aware of others’ emotions may also find themselves in leadership positions. Their compassion and camaraderie within their teams can produce projects more effectively and efficiently. And with the majority of talent leaving jobs due to poor management, emotional intelligence may focus Hiring Managers on what to look for in leadership candidates outside their technical skills and seniority levels.

Creativity & Innovation – It may seem as though there isn’t much place for Creativity and Innovation among AI, robotics, automation, Big Data, Data Science, and Data Technology. Yet, now, it’s more important than ever and it’s those same verticals which allow greater creativity.

Consider the shift of car manufacturers to ventilator manufacturers or the apps which allow Telemedicine to exist in our world of social distancing. These are just a couple of examples of human ingenuity. People will always need dreamers, inventors, and creators to develop products and services to make life easier.

In our recently released 2020 Salary Guide we discuss each specialism, what’s working and what isn’t. And how businesses can hire and retain top talent to keep their projects on track and their businesses running smoothly.

If you’re interested in Data and Technology, Risk or Digital Analytics, Life Sciences Analytics, Marketing & Insight, Data Science, or Computer Vision, take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

Related blog & news

With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.

Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out the related posts below.

It Takes Two: Data Architect Meets Data Engineer

Information. Data. The lifeblood of business. Information and data are used interchangeably, gathered, collected, and analysed to create actionable insights for informed business decisions. So, what does that mean exactly? And to that end, how do we know what information or data we need to make those decisions? Enter the Data Architect. The Role of a Data Architect Just like you might hire an architect to sketch out your dreamhouse, the Data Architect is a Data Visionary. They see the full picture and can craft the design and framework creating the blueprint for the Data Engineer, who will ultimately build the digital framework. Data Architects are the puzzle solvers who can take a jumble of puzzle pieces, in this case massive amounts of data, and put everything in order. It’s their job to figure out what’s important and what isn’t based on an organisation's business objectives. Skills for a Data Architect might include: Computer Science degree, or some variation thereof.Plenty of experience working with systems and application development.Extensive knowledge and able to deep dive into Information ManagementIf you’re just starting your Data Architect path, be prepared for years of building your experience in data design, data storage, and Data Management. The Role of a Data Engineer The Data Engineer builds the vision and brings it to life. But they don’t work in a vacuum and are integral to the Data Team working nearly in tandem with the Data Architect. These engineers are building the infrastructure – the pipelines and data lakes. Once exclusive to the software-engineering field, the data engineer’s role has evolved exponentially as data-focused software became an industry standard. Important skills for a Data Engineer might include. Strong developer skills.Understand a host of technologies such as Python, R, Hadoop, and moreCraft projects to show what you can do, not just talk about what you can do – your education isn’t much of a factor when it comes to data engineering. On the job training does it best.Social and communication skills are critical as you map initial designs, and a love of learning keeps everything humming along, even as technology libraries shift, and you have to learn something new. The Major Differences between the Data Architect and Data Engineer RolesAs intertwined as these two roles might seem, there are some crucial differences. Data Architect Crafts concept and visualises frameworkLeads the Data Science teams Data Engineer Builds and maintains the frameworkProvides supporting framework With a focus on Database Management technologies, it can seem as though Data Architect and Data Engineer are interchangeable. And at one time, Data Architects did also take on the Data Engineering role. But the knowledge each has is used differently.  Whether you’re looking to enter the field of Data Engineering, want to move up or over with your years of experience to Data Architect, or are just starting out. Harnham may have a role for you. Check out our current opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to learn more.  

Best Practices in Open Data Collaboration

Over the past year, pick up any paper. Flip to any news channel. Read any news reports. And you’ll notice a common theme. Data. Specifically, all the Data we use to help us determine elections (albeit with less and less accuracy), track pandemic cases, and even measure the health of our businesses. We all know Data is important. But the question is, what Data matters most?  If we’re not collecting the right Data, our predictions and forecasting could be skewed.  Seven Ways to Help You Make the Most of Your Data Here are a few things to consider when collecting the information needed to make an informed decision. Clarify your goals.Determine who will conduct the analysis once the Data is gathered and what should be expected of the results.Set indicators to help measure your results.Use the same variables as your collaborators. When the CDC, the WHO, and a variety of hospitals and healthcare providers around the world banded together to track pandemic cases, it was important they all used the same variables in their data. Ask the right questions. Determine what it is you need to know and focus your questions to that end.Feedback Offers Insight. In our remote working world, it’s more important than ever to communicate with team members both locally and globally. Offer and accept feedback to improve your data.Secure your data. The above offer best practices and things to keep in mind. But having open Data and Data collaboration offers more than teambuilding. When diverse voices, backgrounds, and ideas gather, we can create more broadly. We find solutions we didn’t see before.  Machine Learning, AI, and Sharing Can Move the World Whether we’re sharing Data to improve our city planning infrastructures to such global operations as environmental collaborations, we work better together. Opportunities which allow organisations to share Data can lead to economic, social justice, and environmental solutions the world over.  Just like we soak up information to learn, so too, do machines and AI. These systems need data to learn and grow. These learning systems improve with new and updated information. It is a collaborative effort between human and machine. When we ask the right questions, use the same variables as our collaborators, and have clear goals of our desired objectives, these technologies can help us make better, more informed decisions.  Data collaboration has shown us what can be accomplished when we have the right information. We gain new perspectives, new ideas, and new ways of doing things to find solutions for challenges we may face. If you’re looking to take your next step in the Data & Analytics industry, we may have a role for you. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to learn more.  

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