Creative Ways to Access Big Data Talent

Came across this blog post and thought I worth sharing and talking about.

“Demand for big data expertise is growing every day, as more and more companies become aware of the benefits of collecting and analyzing data.”

Just take a look at jobs boards now and from postings a year ago. You can see the number of jobs with analyst or data scientist in them grow like crazy.

“Unfortunately, the number of people trained to analyze this data isn’t growing in line with the demand.”

It shouldn’t be too hard to start guessing at the total number of data geeks needed in today’s global economy. For the sake of argument, if you figure every company with at least 100 employees needs someone to handle internal analytics and every company with at least 1000 customers’ needs someone to handle external analytics… it’s a mindboggling number.

“This creates a challenge for companies looking to hire expert people, especially for smaller firms less able to compete on salary and benefits.”

Not only can big companies invest in top analytics talent, they can also use business Intelligence tools, AI and machine learning to automate data jobs. Smaller companies are not only competing for talent, they are up against huge technology hurdles as well.

“The good news is that, even if you’re having trouble recruiting data scientists because of stiff competition, or if you simply haven’t got the budget to recruit, you can still access big data skills.”

And that is what I agree with 100%. You have to get creative. Going outside to hire someone to come in and manage your data and analytics, to be a data scientist, you are forgetting one key thing. To make use of all the technology out there and to be able to really get value out of analytics techniques, you need to understand the needs of the business.


In the end, what makes a business analyst, data scientist or big data expert successful has nothing to do with how well they can code, build models or blend data. It has to do first and foremost with can they understand the business in ways to put their big brains to work to solve problems and answer questions relevant to the business.

That is the dilemma. You need people on the inside who know the business, but you can’t get a data super hero to come work for you.

To that end here are my 5 ways to get the most out of your data talent without going outside to hire.

  1. Promote and empower your own data geeks.
  2. Send your team outside to get training from a pro.
  3. Bring in an expert as a consultant and mentor your team.
  4. Get intern/OJT help from local colleges to bring in new perspectives.
  5. Outsource some of your data initiatives to experts and learn from them.

With each of these options, there are significant challenges. As I said before, the best solutions is finding someone with business acumen that pertains to your business.

I will go into more detail with each of these options over the next few blog posts.




Promote Your Own Data Geeks





Get Trained By the Analytics Pros




Find Your Team A Mentor




Infuse Your Business with Fresh Analytics Talent





Outsourcing Analytics To Experts Is Not A One Way Street


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