Many businesses are looking to leveraging data and machine learning, and for many, the first step is a data team – but what skills do you need?
The reality is, the majority of data science projects fail (Gartner, 2016) with many not getting any further than the PoC (Proof-of-Concept) stage and failing to be deployed. There are many reasons for this – but we think the key one is the people hired to do this work. Tempting as it might be to hire the latest data science “wizz kid”, we believe what businesses need is a full-stack data scientist.
So, what is a “full-stack” Data Scientist, and why might you need one?
A full-stack Data Scientist has the infrastructure knowledge to efficiently design, work and deploy with a wide range of technologies and approaches (i.e. Cloud, virtualisation and containerisation) and data platforms (such as distributed database Spark). This experience and skills will equip the team to deploy your data model on your enterprise-wide system where it can be used to solve real business problems.
A full-stack Data Scientist will have strong software development skills. Building simple web applications and API endpoints will make it easier to integrate insights into other applications. If data scientists can do Web/API development themselves, that can deploy machine learning without depending on the busy software development team for support.
A full-stack Data Scientist will have a DevOps mindset. They will understand the model development and release lifecycle as well as process and change management. They will be able to use the latest tools and techniques such as version control (e.g. git), scheduling automation (e.g. Airflow), continuous integration and delivery (e.g. Jenkins) and logging/monitoring solutions such as Splunk to make sure your project is a success.
A full-stack Data Scientist is able to build visualisation dashboard applications to showcase their business findings and model predictions. Data is essential, but telling the story behind the data can be mission-critical. A good solid visualisation dashboard will allow your executive team and other key project sponsors, the information hidden in the data.
In short, a full-stack data scientist is not only a data guru but also an IT master that can bring your data project to reality.
To discuss these ideas, or even meet a couple of full-stack data scientists, contact us [email protected].