Unrealistic expectations hamper hunt for data scientists

It may not be so hard to find data scientists if you're willing to pay.

Conventional wisdom says that big data talent is in short supply, but that's only because people don't know where to look for it, writes John Weathington in a post at TechRepublic. Over the coming five years, the supply of analytic talent will grow considerably as leading universities offer advanced degrees targeted to data analysis.

The main problem in finding data analytics talent today results from unrealistic expectations, according to Weathington. Talented data scientists can earn an annual salary of $350,000, and quants can earn more than $500,000.

"Everybody has big data dreams, but nobody wants to pay big data prices for these resources," he writes. "So don't get frustrated when you cannot attract a quality data scientist for $120K plus free movie tickets every quarter."

What's more, you're going to be frustrated if you expect a data scientist to also be an expert in project management, business requirements, programming or operations.

The key to finding and keeping data scientists is to understand their culture, which starts with "their love for excellence," which can work against you, Weathington cautions. They would prefer to run over deadline to produce an excellent product than stay on time and deliver a sufficient one. They also tend to be introverts, and may become withdrawn under too much stress.

For more:
- see John Weathington's post at TechRepublic

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