Retaining Data Science Talent
  • 6th August, 2019
  •  

Retaining Data Science Talent

By Celina Lee

3 min read

It seems like everyone is looking to hire a data scientist these days. As if finding the best talent were not hard enough, it is actually only half the battle.

I have heard numerous stories of companies that are embarking on their data science journey and have been thwarted by multiple rounds of successfully hiring a data scientist, only to have them quickly leave.

Churn in the data science talent market is real, and has many obvious downsides for employers. But retention (or lack thereof) of data scientists is particularly common when companies use hiring as their first port of call when embarking on their data science journey.

The problem:

  1. You’ve heard it before. Data scientists are curious, intelligent people who if not provided with stimulating work will move on to the next opportunity.
  2. You need someone who is qualified to manage your new hire and effectively leverage the skills they bring. And if you had such a person already on your team, you would probably not be a newbie to the data science game. It seems like a Catch-22.
  3. Data science is a broad discipline, and a relatively new one at that. One data scientist cannot be expected to solve all of your data problems from strategy to coding.

Perhaps hiring a data scientist is not the most effective first step on your data science journey after all. 

Engaging a data science consulting company may offer benefits that will enable you to start your journey and retain talent in the future.

Consulting comes in all shapes and sizes, but consider the following:

  1. Consultants on retainer provide a more flexible on-demand arrangement and can deliver quick results.
  2. Consultancies ensure that you have access to a breadth of expertise.
  3. A Zindi competition also offers a low-commitment way to get your feet wet in data science and get a tangible proof of concept that will help you to figure out exactly what human resources you need as you embark on your journey.

We offer “mentorship” services to help manage and build the capacity of junior data science teams and also provide strategic guidance to executives. Contact us if you are interested in exploring any of these options to help you kick start your journey. The right consulting engagement can save you money and time in the long run and ensure that when you are ready to hire your first data scientist(s), you actually get to keep them.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash 

Share This Artcle :

About Author

Celina is CEO of the Zindi data science competition platform. For the last 9 years, Celina has acted at the forefront of advanced uses of data for financial inclusion globally. Celina is from San Francisco, California, but has lived and worked around the world, including Latin America and Asia, and now Cape Town in South Africa.

Comments