It won’t come as a surprise to you that companies are investing heavily in data; managing it, exploiting it and in many cases building their businesses around it. And that investment is leading to some interesting challenges in hiring.

The thing about data is that it’s right on the cusp of business and technology. By that I meant that the actual management and manipulation of data is hugely technical: the explosion in demand for data engineers and specialists with understanding of the complex mathematics of machine learning and AI make that clear. But data is also profoundly commercial; in that without an understanding of what the data is and what its business value is, it’s hard to handle.

The concept of “rubbish in, rubbish out” isn’t a new one – it doesn’t matter how clever your data scientists are if the data they’re working with is incomplete or inaccurate. That’s why the disciplines of data governance, quality, lineage and management are so vital. But there’s another aspect of data which is coming more and more to the fore; the difficulty of communicating its potential to non technical users.

To put it the other way round, if your data is rubbish your answers will be rubbish.

But equally, if the questions you’re asking of the data are rubbish? Your answers will be rubbish.

You need good source data, good technical solutions, and you need to ask the right questions. Communication between the business and the data teams needs to be two way.

That’s why there’s an increasing market for people who can act as translators: to demonstrate the power of data to stakeholders, and to communicate business needs to the data teams.

At Vocative we tend to work right on that line where technology meets business. It makes for a complicated, nuanced hire and that’s what we do well. And with company after company we’re finding that their challenge is to bridge the gap between data capability and business need. (And although we’re small, it’s not just us: there’s interesting article here and more on our news page).

Those people do exist: the challenge for companies is how to get to the right people who understand both the technical demands and their particular business sector.

We’re talking to them every day. So if you want to see if we can help you solve the problem of finding them, get in touch. Equally if you’re looking for your next opportunity we’d love to hear from you!

There’s no doubt that the rise in data will continue to transform the way we do business, and live our lives. The challenge for companies right now is to understand the power of their data and harness it.

At Vocative Consulting, we work alongside companies to help them find the very best IT hires for critical roles – we believe recruitment is an art, not just a science.

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