Calling All Data Scientists

Being a data scientist is one of the hottest jobs around.

The Harvard Business Review article Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century describes the role this way: "It's a high-ranking professional with the training and curiosity to make discoveries in the world of big data. Their sudden appearance on the business scene reflects the fact that companies are now wrestling with information that comes in varieties and volumes never encountered before."

Dun & Bradstreet's resident data scientist, Anthony Scriffignano (@Scriffignano1), has his own take:

Being a data scientist is both an awesome opportunity and a tremendous responsibility. The opportunity comes from the fact that we are living in a time when the amount of new data being created far exceeds any capacity to discover and make sense out of it without new skills like those offered by data scientists. The responsibility comes from the fact that we need to learn to behave differently, to think differently, and to ask new kinds of questions in a world awash in data. The cost of getting this wrong is that our competitors and those with less than noble intentions will outpace us. Being a data scientist is one of the most exciting roles one can have today.

As companies look to capitalize on the incredible asset data can be in this evolving Internet of Things world we live in, the demand for data scientists has become massive. The main concern is that the supply of talent is too constrained. Thus, pay for people in this field is highly competitive.

As if that's not enough, being a data scientist has yet another big plus…

According to a new report from Glassdoor.com, a website that lets employees rate their companies and jobs, the number one job for work-life balance is data scientist. Glassdoor has an index from 1 (very dissatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied). The index measures things such as feelings about hours worked, time away from family, and general stress and pressure.

Data Scientist scored highest at an average of 4.2. This number is notable not just because it's at the top, but because it stands in stark contrast to the overall mood among workers using Glassdoor.

According to Glassdoor: "Work-life balance has decreased in recent years, as employees have reported an average work-life balance satisfaction rating of 3.5 in 2009, 3.4 in 2012, and 3.2 thus far in 2015…Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough in today's work environment, but some jobs allow for more flexibility than others."

Like a data scientist. No doubt, given the growing demand, people with the right talent are able to call their shots. And that includes flexibility around issues of family and work. High pay. Exciting work. Huge demand. And now, happiness, too.

It makes one wonder why everyone isn't rushing to sign up. Probably because the role requires a unique blend of talents and personality. The Harvard Business Review article puts it like this:

Think of him or her as a hybrid of data hacker, analyst, communicator, and trusted adviser. The combination is extremely powerful-and rare.

As demand continues to grow, we will see more data scientist up-and-comers moving into this role, even if they don't know it yet. Companies will need to be on the lookout for these special talents, as they will be snapped up quickly.

We know Anthony is rare - and we're lucky to have him.

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