Soft Skills for Data Scientists?


There is a preconceived assumption vivid in our minds – data science is all about statistics and mathematics. This is thought to influence data scientists to equip themselves to attain these technical skills, mainly with the sole aim of excelling. But that’s not just it, in reality. The field of data science necessitates the possession of certain soft skills as well, to shine and grab better opportunities in the journey ahead. There are a huge number of soft skills which can help data scientists in generating business value for their company, thereby boosting their career growth tremendously.

Communicate to convey

Data scientists should be able to communicate their findings to the users, colleagues, top management, etc. effectively and efficiently. The job demands conveying the insights to both technical as well as non-technical teams. Hence, communication is critical for the success of any work or research.

The non-technical audience needs to comprehend what made data scientists reach a particular conclusion and why. What matters is how convinced the audience is with your findings; if people are not able to understand the same, then these findings do not carry any value.

Think to be critical

This is one of the most important skills that data scientists need to acquire. It is only due to critical thinking that data scientists can address the given problem, align the findings with that of the organization’s requirement, etc. Unless the problem area is analyzed thoroughly, it impossible to draw meaningful conclusions. To develop critical thinking, two techniques are handy:

·     visualizing a problem from different perspectives

·     questioning the assumptions

Ability to adapt

With new technologies arising, data scientists must adapt to the latest technologies as quickly as possible and respond to the varying trends in the market positively.

Problems and Problem-solving

Identifying a problem and finding the right approach to solve the problem is equally important. A data scientist should be able to identify the problem area or the complex issues, come up with various approaches to deal with them and finally apply the best possible alternative to solve the problem.

Business Knowledge

A data scientist should be able to understand the business processes and operations to transform raw data into a form that is good enough to conclude. Good knowledge about how does the company work, how does it make money, what products/services does the company offer, etc. can be studied in detail to achieve the desired objective.


It is almost impossible to excel without collaborating with others in the field. Teamwork yields the best possible results and encompasses the immense potential to grow as well.

Technical skills are hence extremely important for a prospering career but soft skills offer excellent opportunities to cultivate and sharpen data science performance, thereby assuring an opportunistic career.

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