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Ask these 4 important questions before hiring a data scientist

Yuvrajsinh Vaghela
© Shutterstock / MJgraphics (modified)

When hiring a data scientist there are a few things that you need to take into account. Yuvrajsinh Vaghela presents four important questions that will help you hire the perfect data scientist for your team.

Growth hack is no longer a gimmick that the business can use to lure the customers; it is more scientific now than ever.

For one, a lot of your growth hack strategies depend on data analysis and an understanding of how data works. You need a more cross-functional growth team that can account for all the activities required to help your organization grow. A good growth team can contribute towards quick growth of your organization, and can help you build a successful user base, which will eventually convert.

Before you start investing in growth, you need to understand whether your organization is ready for the growth hacks you are proposing. You need to figure out if the growth investment is required at this point for your team. The measurement of the right metrics will help you determine if your company is staging steps towards growth or not.

Your growth strategy should revolve around user retention and the needs of the user. It should also cater to the demands posed by the user.

  • A total of 10% of the users who have downloaded the app tend to stay back and use the app after a week. This number goes to 2.3% after a month. This shows how big a role retention pays in growth strategies.
  • In 3 months, 52% of the apps in the playstore tend to lose their charm within a period of 3 months, which simply means that the peak users stop using these apps.
  • Retaining users is less expensive as compared to acquiring new customers. That’s why you need to concentrate on working a growth strategy that retains the users and keeps them engaged. 
  • Growth hacking is all about retention in modern times.
  • Among the different members that you require to grow your customer base and implement the various growth strategy, the data scientist plays an important role.



Before moving on to the process of hiring a data scientist, let’s understand what a data scientist is and how they help with growth strategies.

A data scientist is basically someone who owns a degree in advanced analytics and is well-versed with information management. They should have experience in both data mining and visualization.

The main purpose behind hiring a data scientist for the growth team is to get help with defining the strategic vision for the company and empower the company’s decision with data that is converted into insights. 

The data scientist will understand every part of the data collected, and convert it into insights that can help make decisions and imagine a growth path for the company. 

When hiring a data scientist there are a few things that you need to take into account. Here are four important questions that will help you hire the perfect data scientist for your team.

1. Is your organization ready for a data scientist?

Before you begin conducting the interviews for a data scientist, ask yourself this question- are you ready for a data scientist? There are some prompts available which will help answer this question. 

  • Suddenly, the top management has begun to understand the value of data, and the assets available to obtain and analyze the data. 
  • The different teams involved in growth strategies want to know why a particular issue occurred. They have started looking for insights as against simple data and mining of the data
  • The top management wants someone who is capable of identifying the hidden analytics within the data that has been mined by the team
  • Business intelligence has become the core of everything that you plan for in the organization

When data has suddenly taken over all aspects of the organization, then it is time to hire a data scientist. It is also important to question yourself whether you want a single data scientist or a team of data scientists to look into the company’s data and help with the growth hacking strategies. In the case of large companies dealing with huge amounts of data, it is important to have more than one scientist.

2. Do you have the infrastructure required for data scientists?

Before you hire the data scientist, check if the hiring process also requires investment in terms of infrastructure. Do you need a new space to keep the data scientists? Do you need to invest in tools that would enable them to crack the data and build insights? 

Does your IT infrastructure have the capability to accommodate the tools and space the new hiring requires? If not, how are you planning to manage it? Hiring a data scientist is a cost to the company in terms of the salary you need to pay them, as well as the tools and infrastructure that you need to offer them to carry out the work easily. You will need to decide the tools based on the work that your data scientist would be performing as part of the organization. Check if the cost of hiring a data scientist also assures you a good amount of returns, as that will help you understand whether your organization requires the data scientist or not. 

SEE ALSO: Big data in a nutshell

3. Are the data scientists skilled?

The data scientist you are hiring should be fluent with the experimental design, as that is core to growth hack strategies. You should ask them the sample size they will use for a particular experiment by giving them an example situation. You should pose several real-life situations that will help you understand if the person is skilled to work for your organization. 

Apart from understanding the experimental design, they should also be able to work on coding. From working on new data sets to logging the new data, they should be skilled to perform live coding on the data, and gather the insights required to make the informed decisions. 

4. How good is their communication skills?

As a data scientist, you are constantly required to experiment with the data, and then analyze the results that you have obtained from the data. When hiring the team or a single data scientist, you need to check them for their communication skills. 

How good are they with communicating the results of the experiments they have conducted, and how do they communicate the insights they have obtained from the same, will help you know whether or not they are capable of being the ideal candidate for a data scientist. 

The data scientist will not only give you insights but also build a strong and persuasive case that will help you understand whether or not you should opt for the strategies being given by the scientist. It is important for you to hire someone who knows their stuff and can build a strong case around their findings.

Summing up

Data scientists have become an important member of the growth hack team, as they offer insights that can be converted into perfect growth hack strategies. It is important to hire the right person for the job as that will ensure well-defined growth strategies.

Before hiring the data scientist, you should know whether or not you need a data scientist in your team, and do you have the required infrastructure or not. Apart from that, you ought to know if the data scientist is skilled to perform the task and whether or not they have the communication skills required to make a strong case of their findings. 

data science

Yuvrajsinh Vaghela

Yuvrajsinh Vaghelais a Marketing Manager at Space-O Technologies, on-demand app development company. He spends most of his time researching the mobile app and startup trends. He is a regular contributor to popular publications like Entrepreneur, Yourstory, and Upwork. Apart from that, he connects recruiters to job seekers in India. He has, in fact, helped 18 candidates last month to get a new job.

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