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Data scientists are often curious, intuitive, and deeply interested in analysis. All of these individual skills are assets in the business world, but all of them combined into one talented professional can allow your business to reap the benefits. The role of the data scientist can vary widely depending on the industry, but there are key aspects to look for when hiring a data scientist to your team. Below are a few of the most important qualities to look for when hiring a data scientist. 

Fluency in Multiple Technologies

Whether it’s databases, predictive modeling, data analysis, or programming, the individual who fills this role will need to perform a variety of tasks that will keep your business running and competitive. A great data scientist will constantly be on the lookout for new tools to make processes more efficient. In addition, they will find new ways to test hypotheses or answer probability questions to help businesses forecast. 

Ability to Communicate Effectively

Most members of a business team will completely disconnect and have their eyes glaze over if a data scientist cannot communicate in terms non-data scientists can understand. They need to take the data they’ve analyzed and turn it into a digestible format that strategists and the creative team can run with. Can the data scientist tell a story using the data they’ve collected? Can they show trends and results to audiences of all technical backgrounds? The key to success in this instance is finding someone who can turn complicated data into simple reports for whoever needs it. 

Aptitude in Your Industry

While data scientists can be effective in almost any industry in which they find themselves, it’s best to hire someone with experience in your business’s specific industry. They will automatically know how to make improvements based on industry-specific data and give your business a head start in its endeavors. The more a new hire knows about the industry, company, product, workflow, or obstacles, the more they can contribute right out of the gate. 

Exceptional Collaboration Skills


Data scientists never work in a vacuum. They are constantly consulting other members of their department, supporting others when they face obstacles, and frequently find themselves as part of a large team working towards a common goal. When hiring a new data scientist, it’s important to gauge their collaboration skills. A simple way to judge this during the interview process is to create a mini project for them to work on with a team to see how they fare. This method will also give hiring managers a good idea of the hard and soft skills they bring to the table.