Everything you need to know about data scientists

Will Green investigates why it’s time for data scientists to join the B2B party – and explores why marketers should be excited about the value they can bring

Back in October 2012, the Harvard Business Review described the data scientist role as the ‘sexiest job of the 21st century’. Now this was probably overstating the case. Frankly, Hollywood actor, rock star and pilot are still more likely to get pulses racing. But the article did hit upon a truth – all of a sudden people were waking up to the potential of a maths qualification once again. In a business context at least, data science was the new sexy.

And that has been reflected in the jobs market. As Jen Brett, head of EMEA insight, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, says: “Research from leading global executive search firm Spencer Stuart shows data analysis is one of the most sought after skills by marketing teams today.”

But while the data scientist role has recently rocketed into relevance, it has thus far been mostly in a B2C context. In B2B, data science is talked about a lot, but there remains a lack of understanding of what the job actually is and, more importantly, what it can achieve.