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Why this matters:

Data consultants work in many industries such as IT, healthcare, consumer services, and supply chain management. Ideal candidates should have an adequate understanding of your organization’s market and customer base, plus industry-specific technologies and processes. Qualified candidates should have experience helping other firms solve challenges similar to those in your organization.

What to listen for:

  • Track record of success with similar clients
  • Knowledge of key industry trends, terms, and processes
  • A clear understanding of your market and the specific industry challenges

Why this matters:

A background in IT, computer science, software development, applied mathematics, statistics, or a related field is necessary for understanding concepts, terms, and best practices related to IT systems and operating processes. Candidates for a data consultant role should have acquired this knowledge either through university degrees, certifications, or a combination of education and practical experience.

What to listen for:

  • Experience working with SQL, Python, Java, JavaScript, C/C++, and Ruby
  • A deep understanding of databases, data analytics, and cloud technologies
  • High technical proficiency in IT and software development

Why this matters:

Qualified candidates should understand the importance of documenting new processes and best practices to encourage knowledge sharing and ensure their availability in the future. They should have the ability to communicate the results of their research and success metrics to others within the organization through accessible data visualizations and documentation.

What to listen for:

  • An organized and systematic approach with strong attention to detail
  • Ability to convey information in a clear and compelling manner
  • A long-term mindset and a focus on growth

 

Why this matters:

Ideal data consulting candidates should have a broad knowledge of the current trends and opportunities in the market, and the ability to align your organization with them. In addition, they should aim to find new business opportunities either through the application of your organization’s existing technology capabilities or the integration of new ones.

What to listen for:

  • Up-to-date knowledge of key technology trends
  • Ability to articulate the ROI and benefits of a new technology
  • Ability to think creatively and strategically about data applications

Why this matters:

A key part of data consultants’ roles is measuring the effectiveness of an organization’s technology standards, assessing whether they are helping them achieve their goals, and making recommendations on how they can optimize for growing their business, cutting costs, and operating more efficiently. They should be able to identify and document risks and propose solutions to minimize or eliminate them.

What to listen for:

  • Strong problem-solving and analytical skills
  • Ability to develop and execute digital strategies
  • Ability to diagnose latent problems

Why this matters:

Successful candidates should have experience researching and analyzing IT systems and operating processes, recognizing areas of improvement, and using their findings to recommend and implement appropriate solutions in line with organizational needs. This requires a combination of technical and analytical skills along with the leadership skills to see those strategies through implementation.

What to listen for:

  • A track record of success identifying problems and implementing solutions for them
  • An innovative mindset with the ability to think strategically
  • Strong problem-solving skills

Why this matters:

Agile project management has gained traction as an effective way to innovate within organizations. As leaders in charge of planning, executing, and implementing new technologies and processes, data consultants can benefit from Agile approaches. Ideal candidates will have experience with key features of Agile project management, such as collaborating with cross-functional teams, working in sprints, and flexibility.

What to listen for:

  • A collaborative mindset that prioritizes teamwork
  • Experience using iterative approaches to problem-solving
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines

Why this matters:

Successful data consultants must persuade stakeholders who have little technical knowledge into adopting new technologies or approaches by effectively communicating their benefits and returns on investments. They should be good at breaking down complex and highly technical information into simple and understandable terms.

What to listen for:

  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively
  • Excellent presentation and public speaking skills
  • Track record of success obtaining buy-ins from stakeholders

Why this matters:

A key part of the data consultant role is leading and mentoring cross-functional teams in the adoption of new technologies and processes. They should act as subject matter experts providing strategic guidance and support in the coordination and implementation of upgrades and changes. Successful candidates should be able to train others in new systems and processes and have experience developing training strategies.

What to listen for:

  • Experience training and mentoring teams and individuals
  • Strong communication skills
  • Track record of success leading teams through the implementation of new technologies
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