Part Data Geek, Part Storyteller, with a dash of curiosity and a pinch of analytical thinking, we find ourselves defining the sexiest job of the 21st century. These unicorns living amongst the human race are data scientists, and they have some undeniably impressive skills. So, what makes a great one?

A Loud and Proud Data Geek
Calling someone a Data Geek isn’t insulting in our eyes…we have something called a Geek Bar at our user conference, after all. Being a Data Geek means being passionate and dedicated to all things data. Solving data-centric problems gives them life and they love to find elusive patterns in a mountain of confusion. These are the makings of a true data scientist.

Analytics, Statistics, and Insights are Their Jam
Nothing gets a data scientist out of bed in the morning faster than knowing they get to explore and discover unknowns. For a living! They have a passion for insights and have an analytic mind.

Mathlete [noun]: an individual who excels in mathematics to the point where he or she could make mathematics into a sport
A data scientist is a mathlete. Their skills in math could have earned them a spot on the varsity team in high school…if that were a thing. Like an athlete, they are agile and adaptive. Plus, applying their expertise and skills to multiple industries is a breeze – and an incredibly awesome skill.

Curiosity May Have Killed the Cat, but it Fuels the Data Scientist
Having a strategic and analytical mind is the cornerstone of a great data scientist. An inquisitive and persistent nature is essential when trying to solve data-driven problems. The best data scientists will have strong critical thinking and reasoning abilities.

Storytelling – Not Just for Marketers Anymore
A successful data scientist is the jack-of-all trades. Not only can they identify and solve complex problems, but they can effectively communicate their findings in a digestible and relatable way. They are able to translate data-driven insights into decisions and actions, telling the story of the data in a way that will matter to decision makers.

The Million Dollar Question…Do You Need a Data Scientist?
You should have someone on your team that possesses the qualities of a data scientist. Data Scientists come in many forms and it’s important to note that just because getting a degree in data science is the hot new thing, that doesn’t mean your data scientist needs one. Degrees in data science are popping up at universities all over the world, but what’s more important than what a piece of paper says is what the mind of your resident Data Geek can share with you.