Does the ideal Data Scientist exist and where should we sit them?

Posting date:08 Jan 2019

I have spent the last three months unpicking the profile of the ideal data scientist, finding out where they want to work and debating whether we should scrap the term altogether but now I am exploring another issue and that involves where Data Scientists should sit.

In my quest to discover what the ideal employer looks like, I came across a huge obstacle that was presenting itself to my candidate network which I believe is contributing to the high turnover of data professionals and a forever-shrinking talent pool. 

More and more data scientists are being mis-sold a job. This is primarily due to a lack of understanding of the industry with organisations ready to join the Data Science party without reading the invite. It’s also because companies are overselling a role as technical, exciting and hands-on when it’s a simple IT role with a trendy title.

Data Scientists longing for self-development are being sat on the IT desk of a company claiming to be data-driven and quite simply, they’re bored. 

This has made me wonder if the turnover of Data Science professionals is really linked to where they sit in a company. If we were allowing them to sit on a desk where they will learn, develop and progress as a tech professional will they be more inclined to stay on board? Are we stunting their growth by sitting them next to people they will never technically learn from?

I’d like to hear from you. Where’s the best place for a Data Scientist to sit and does it really help retain talent? 

Please spare 60-seconds to take my anonymous survey – all results will be used in my upcoming insight paper focused on the future of Data Science.

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