A really interesting post by Bob Hayes for Customer Think "Top 10 Skills in Data Science" tells us that so-called "soft" skills like communication and project management are really important for data scientists. Hayes takes a look at 25 skills assessed in a data science survey, and uses the chart below to filter out the top ten:
|Image source: Customer Think (click to enlarge).
It's no surprise to me that Communication is important, but I would not have expected it to be top of the list. In fact we dropped a Communications module from one of our Data Analytics programmes last year and replaced it with Data Visualization (still partly communication I know). Managing structured data (#2) and Maths (#3) rank higher than data mining/management, and statistics (#9). To me these important skills are vital in all roles and perhaps there is a case to be made that these are a given and should be exlcuded from a top ten list of skills? At #11 is "Database Administration", at #12 is "Algorithms and simulations", and at #14 is "Machine Learning" - these would be in the top ten if the standard skills were omitted. Their importance is not lessened, but they should be in the top ten skills for a data scientist.