What’s the DNA of a Data Scientist?

Data scientists will need to play an increasingly important role if Singapore is to achieve its 10-year blueprint for the infocomm media (ICM) sector, according to recruiting experts, Hays, in Singapore.

The big vision of the Infocomm Media Masterplan sees Singapore as a ‘smart nation’ by 2025. But in this brave new world, in order to be a global leader in tapping the potential of ICM through a data marketplace, and nurturing innovative talent and enterprises, Singapore will need the right talent.

According to Hays, jobs for data scientists will rise over the coming years to help organisations identify business opportunities from previously unworkable sources of data.

“This new breed of IT professionals will become critical to business success since they can recognise patternsand derive insights from multiple sources of data, enabling themto make observations and predictions,” Chris Mead, regional director of Hays in Singapore & Malaysia, said.

The role has been coined ‘the sexiest job of the 21st century’ by the Harvard Business Review and there is good reason for it. “Organisations are already trying to utilise the vast amounts of data held in storage in order to unlock competitive advantage and introduce efficiencies. Data scientists have the skills that top most senior level IT decision makers’ agendas today,” Chris added.

And not just IT, data scientists are being sought after by marketers too.

Read what Jeannie Ong, CMO of StarHub has to say about hiring them.

Why data scientists are the next big thing

So what does it take to be a Data Scientist? Hays breaks it up.

Candidates need a solid foundation in computer science and applications, modelling, statistics, analytics and maths. They should also have business acumen, coupled with the ability to communicate findings to both business and IT leaders in a way that can influence how an organisation approaches a business challenge.

“As an entry-level data scientist, you'll use statistical analysis and data mining techniques to help your company better understand how users engage with its web and mobile applications. A senior position will influence the strategic directions taken by marketing, sales, customer service and businesses planning, based on technological expertise and business insight.”

Moreover, according to Hays at the junior end of Singapore’s IT talent market the effects of a tighter foreign labour policy are starting to be felt.

“Employers are finding it harder to hire strong talent in areas such as programming, helpdesk, desktop support and entry level infrastructure engineering. In the medium term this is likely to put upward pressure on salary levels across these categories,” Chris added.