Three final talent tips: how to hire data scientists

This last post focuses on less tangible aspects, related to curiosity, clarity about what kind of data scientist you need, and having appropriate expectations when you hire.

8. Look for people with curiosity and a desire to solve problems

Radhika Kulkarni, PhD in Operations Research, Cornell University, teaching calculus as a grad student.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I  blogged previously, Greta Roberts of Talent Analytics will tell you that the top traits to look for when hiring analytical talent are curiosity, creativity, and discipline, based on a study her organization did of data scientists. It is important to discover if your candidates have these traits, because they are necessary elements to find a practical solution and separate candidates from those who may get lost in theory. My boss Radhika Kulkarni, the VP of Advanced Analytics R&D at SAS, self-identified this pattern when she arrived at Cornell to pursue a PhD in math. This realization prompted her to switch to operations research, which she felt would allow her to pursue investigating practical solutions to problems, which she preferred to more theoretical research.

That passion continues today, as you can hear Radhika describe in this video on moving the world with advanced analytics. She says “We are not creating algorithms in an ivory tower and throwing it over the fence and expecting that somebody will use it someday. We actually want to build these methods, these new procedures and functionality to solve our customers’ problems.” This kind of practicality is another key trait to evaluate in your job candidates, in order to avoid the pitfall of hires who are obsessed with finding the “perfect” solution. Often, as Voltaire observed, “Perfect is the enemy of good.” Many leaders of analytical teams struggle with data scientists who haven’t yet learned this lesson. Beating a good model to death for that last bit of lift leads to diminishing returns, something few organizations can afford in an ever-more competitive environment. As an executive customer recently commented during the SAS Analytics Customer Advisory Board meeting, there is an “ongoing imperative to speed up that leads to a bias toward action over analysis. 80% is good enough.”

9. Think about what kind of data scientist you need

Ken Sanford, PhD in Economics, University of Kentucky, speaking about how economists make great data scientists at the 2014 National Association of Business Economists Annual Meeting. (Photo courtesy of NABE)

Ken Sanford describes himself as a talking geek, because he likes public speaking. And he’s good at it. But not all data scientists share his passion and talent for communication. This preference may or may not matter, depending on the requirements of the role. As this Harvard Business Review blog post points out, the output of some data scientists will be to other data scientists or to machines. If that is the case, you may not care if the data scientist you hire can speak well or explain technical concepts to business people. In a large organization or one with a deep specialization, you may just need a machine learning geek and not a talking one! But many organizations don’t have that luxury. They need their data scientists to be able to communicate their results to broader audiences. If this latter scenario sounds like your world, then look for someone with at least the interest and aptitude, if not yet fully developed, to explain technical concepts to non-technical audiences. Training and experience can work wonders to polish the skills of someone with the raw talent to communicate, but don’t assume that all your hires must have this skill.

10. Don’t expect your unicorns to grow their horns overnight

Annelies Tjetjep, M.Sc., Mathematical Statistics and Probability from the University of Sydney, eating frozen yogurt.

Annie Tjetjep relates development for data scientists to frozen yogurt, an analogy that illustrates how she shines as a quirky and creative thinker, in addition to working as an analytical consultant for SAS Australia. She regularly encounters customers looking for data scientists who have only chosen the title, without additional definition. She explains: “…potential employers who abide by the standard definitions of what a ‘data scientist’ is (basically equality on all dimensions) usually go into extended recruitment periods and almost always end up somewhat disappointed – whether immediately because they have to compromise on their vision or later on because they find the recruit to not be a good team player….We always talk in dimensions and checklists but has anyone thought of it as a cycle? Everyone enters the cycle at one dimension that they’re innately strongest or trained for and further develop skills of the other dimensions as they progress through the cycle – like frozen yoghurt swirling and building in a cup…. Maybe this story sounds familiar… An educated statistician who picks up the programming then creativity (which I call confidence), which improves modelling, then business that then improves modelling and creativity, then communication that then improves modelling, creativity, business and programming, but then chooses to focus on communication, business, programming and/or modelling – none of which can be done credibly in Analytics without having the other dimensions. The strengths in the dimensions were never equally strong at any given time except when they knew nothing or a bit of everything – neither option being very effective – who would want one layer of froyo? People evolve unequally and it takes time to develop all skills and even once you develop them you may choose not to actively retain all of them.”

So perhaps you hire someone with their first layer of froyo in place and expect them to add layers over time. In other words, don’t expect your data scientists to grow their unicorn horns overnight. You can build a great team if they have time to develop as Annie describes, but it is all about having appropriate expectations from the beginning.

To learn more, check out this series from SAS on data scientists, where you can read Patrick Hall’s post on the importance of keeping the science in data science, interviews with data scientists, and more.

And if you want to check out what a talking geek sounds like, Ken will be speaking at a National Association of Business Economists event next week in Boston – Big Data Analytics at Work: New Tools for Corporate and Industry Economics. He’ll share the stage with another talking geek, Patrick Hall, a SAS unicorn I wrote about it in my first post.

To read the original article on SAS, click here.

Source

Aligning Sales Talent to Drive YOUR Business Goals

5steps_analytics
A confluence of new capabilities is creating an innovative, more precise approach to performance improvement. New approaches include advanced analytics, refined sales competency and behavioral models, adaptive learning, and multiple forms of technology enablement. In a prior post (The Myth of the Ideal Sales Profile) we explored an emerging new paradigm that is disrupting traditional thinking with respect to best practices: the world according to YOU.

However, with only 17% of sales organizations leveraging sales talent analytics (TDWI Research), it seems that most CSO’s and their HR business partners are gambling — using intuition as the basis for making substantial investments in sales development initiatives. If the gamble doesn’t pay off, then the investment is wasted.

Is your sales talent aligned to your company’s strategy of increasing revenue? According to the Conference Board, 73% of CEO’s say no. This lack of alignment is the main reason why 86% of CSO’s expect to miss their 2015 revenue targets (CSO Insights). The ability to properly align your sales talent to your company’s business goals is the difference between being in the 86% or the 14%.

What Happens When You Assume?

Historically, sales and Human Resource leaders based sales talent alignment decisions — both development of the existing team and acquisition of future talent — on assumptions and somewhat subjective data.

Common practices include:

  • Polling the field to determine the focus for sales training
  • Hiring sales talent based largely on the subjective opinion of interviewers
  • Defining your “ideal seller profile” based on the guidance of industry pundits
  • Making a hiring decision based on the fact that the candidate made Achiever’s Club 3 of the last 5 years at their previous company
  • Deploying a sales training program based on what a colleague did at their last company

Aligning sales talent based on any of the above is likely to land your company in the 86% because these approaches fail far more times than they succeed. They fail to consider the many cause-and-effect elements that impact success in your company, in your markets, for your products, and for your customers. As proof of their low success rate, a groundbreaking study by ES Research found that 90% of sales training [development initiatives] had no lasting impact after 120 days. And the news isn’t any better when it comes to sales talent acquisition; Accenture reports that the average ramp-up time for new reps is 7-12 months.

Defining YOUR Ideal Seller Profile(s)

So how does your organization begin to apply the “new way” (see illustration below) as an approach to optimize sales performance? It begins with zeroing in on the capabilities of your salespeople that align most closely to the specific goals of your business. In essence, it means understanding what the YOUR ideal seller profiles are.

Applying the new way begins with specific business goals of your company. What if market share growth was the preeminent strategic goal for your organization? Would it not be extremely valuable to understand which sales competencies were most likely to impact that aspect of your corporate strategy? The obvious answer is yes; and the obvious question is how align and optimize sales to drive increased market share?

How does a CSO identify where to target development in order to have the biggest impact on business results?

By using facts as the basis for these substantial investments. Obtaining facts requires several essential ingredients. The first is a rigorous, comprehensive model for sales competencies; that is, a well-defined model of “what good looks like” for a broad range of sales competencies. This model can be adapted for a specific selling organization, and provides the baseline sales-specific assessments (personality, knowledge, cognitive ability, behavior, etc.).

Then, by applying advanced analytics, including Structural Equations Modeling (SEM) – we can begin to identify cause-effect relationships between specific competencies and the metrics and goals of YOUR organization. With SEM, CSO’s can statistically identify the knowledge and behavior that set top-performers apart from the rest of their team. With this valuable insight, the organization can now align both talent development and acquisition to the company’s most important business goals.

Sales Talent Analytics Provide Proof

Times have changed. The days of aligning sales talent based on gut feel, assumptions or generally accepted best-practices are over. By leveraging sales talent analytics, today’s sales leader can apply a proven 3-step approach to stop gambling and get the facts to statistically pinpoint where to focus development of the sales team, quantifiably measure the business impact / ROI of that development, and improve the quality of new hires. But buyer beware; not all analytical approaches are equal. The vast majority leverage correlation-based analytics which can lead to erroneous conclusions.

By the way we’re not eschewing well designed research that provides insights into broader application of best practices. Aberdeen Group found that best-in-class sales teams that leverage data and analytics increased team quota attainment 12.3% YOY (vs. 1% for an average company) and increased average deal size 8% YOY (vs. 0.8%)

It’s time to define the ideal seller profile for YOUR company. In our next post in this series, we answer the question – how do we capitalize on that understanding to drive the highest impact on our business goals?

Source: Aligning Sales Talent to Drive YOUR Business Goals by analyticsweekpick

Aug 02, 18: #AnalyticsClub #Newsletter (Events, Tips, News & more..)

[  COVER OF THE WEEK ]

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Pacman  Source

[ LOCAL EVENTS & SESSIONS]

More WEB events? Click Here

[ AnalyticsWeek BYTES]

>> Better than Master Data Management: Building the Ultimate Customer 360 with Artificial Intelligence by jelaniharper

>> Eradicating Silos Forever with Linked Enterprise Data by jelaniharper

>> December 26, 2016 Health and Biotech analytics news roundup by pstein

Wanna write? Click Here

[ NEWS BYTES]

>>
 Collision Course: Foreign Influence Operations, Data Security and Privacy – Lexology Under  Data Security

>>
 euNetworks brings data center interconnect services to Dublin and Hilversum – LightWave Online Under  Data Center

>>
 Syllabus for a course on Data Science Ethics – Boing Boing Under  Data Science

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[ FEATURED COURSE]

Pattern Discovery in Data Mining

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Learn the general concepts of data mining along with basic methodologies and applications. Then dive into one subfield in data mining: pattern discovery. Learn in-depth concepts, methods, and applications of pattern disc… more

[ FEATURED READ]

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think

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“Illuminating and very timely . . . a fascinating — and sometimes alarming — survey of big data’s growing effect on just about everything: business, government, science and medicine, privacy, and even on the way we think… more

[ TIPS & TRICKS OF THE WEEK]

Grow at the speed of collaboration
A research by Cornerstone On Demand pointed out the need for better collaboration within workforce, and data analytics domain is no different. A rapidly changing and growing industry like data analytics is very difficult to catchup by isolated workforce. A good collaborative work-environment facilitate better flow of ideas, improved team dynamics, rapid learning, and increasing ability to cut through the noise. So, embrace collaborative team dynamics.

[ DATA SCIENCE Q&A]

Q:What is the maximal margin classifier? How this margin can be achieved?
A: * When the data can be perfectly separated using a hyperplane, there actually exists an infinite number of these hyperplanes
* Intuition: a hyperplane can usually be shifted a tiny bit up, or down, or rotated, without coming into contact with any of the observations
* Large margin classifier: choosing the hyperplance that is farthest from the training observations
* This margin can be achieved using support vectors

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[ VIDEO OF THE WEEK]

@chrisbishop on futurist's lens on #JobsOfFuture #FutureofWork #JobsOfFuture #Podcast

 @chrisbishop on futurist’s lens on #JobsOfFuture #FutureofWork #JobsOfFuture #Podcast

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[ QUOTE OF THE WEEK]

It’s easy to lie with statistics. It’s hard to tell the truth without statistics. – Andrejs Dunkels

[ PODCAST OF THE WEEK]

#BigData @AnalyticsWeek #FutureOfData #Podcast with Joe DeCosmo, @Enova

 #BigData @AnalyticsWeek #FutureOfData #Podcast with Joe DeCosmo, @Enova

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[ FACT OF THE WEEK]

94% of Hadoop users perform analytics on large volumes of data not possible before; 88% analyze data in greater detail; while 82% can now retain more of their data.

Sourced from: Analytics.CLUB #WEB Newsletter

May 8, 2017 Health and Biotech analytics news roundup

HHS’s Price Affirms Commitment to Health Data Innovation: Secretary Price emphasized the need to decrease the burden on physicians.

Mayo Clinic uses analytics to optimize laboratory testing: The company Viewics makes software for the facility, which uses it to look for patterns and increase efficiency.

Nearly 10,000 Global Problem Solvers Yield Winning Formulas to Improve Detection of Lung Cancer in Third Annual Data Science Bowl: The winners of the competition, which challenged contestants to accurately diagnose lung scans, were announced.

Gene sequencing at Yale finding personalized root of disease; new center opens in West Haven: The Center for Genomic Analysis at Yale opened and is intended to help diagnose patients.

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