An Insider’s Guide to Building Data Science Teams

What’s happening this week at the intersection of management and technology.

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Tech Savvy

Tech Savvy was a weekly column focused on new developments at the intersection of management and technology. For more weekly roundups for managers, see our Best of This Week series.
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How to build a data science team: It isn’t easy to recruit and retain a crackerjack data science team, especially now that data scientists know they have the best job in America. So it’s an opportune time to read “Doing Data Science Right,” by Instacart’s VP of data science Jeremy Stanley and former LinkedIn data leader Daniel Tunkelang, in First Round Review.

Along with scads of practical advice for getting the most from your company’s investments in data science, Stanley and Tunkelang suggest that you answer four questions at the get-go:

  • Are you committed to using data science to either inform strategic decisions or build data products? If not, you don’t need data scientists.
  • Can you collect the data you need and act on it? Data science requires data, and collecting data isn’t enough — data must drive action.
  • Will you have enough signal in your data to derive meaningful insights? Big data is great, but without a high signal-to-noise ratio, it will be tough to tease out insights.
  • Do you need an internal data science capability? If data science is solving problems that are critical to your success, then you can’t afford to outsource it. Otherwise, you should.

On-boarding in the cloud: The paper-based on-boarding process for all new employees at Brooks Brothers used to eat up hours, reports senior U.S. correspondent Katherine Noyes in Computer World. Now, the company simply sends out a link via email to newly hired employees prior to their starting dates. It enables them to complete the paperwork at home and provides them with access to the resources of the company’s cloud-based employee portal. “Not only has the process required on that first day been reduced from hours to minutes, but new hires begin to get acclimated before they even start work,” Brooks Bros. director of talent management and organizational effectiveness Justin Watras tells Noyes.

Cloud computing promises outsized benefits in HR because many of the function’s back-office processes, such as benefits, time and attendance, and other records, are mired in decades-old, on-premises legacy systems. “The result can be an almost impossibly intricate set of software and processes,” explains Noyes. Sure, a shift to simplified, cloud-based HR processes can cut costs and save time.

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Topics

Tech Savvy

Tech Savvy was a weekly column focused on new developments at the intersection of management and technology. For more weekly roundups for managers, see our Best of This Week series.
More in this series

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