Data scientists' future? All about looking ahead -- and speaking well.

Much of the current role of data scientists with the Internet of Things has been about analyzing data of the past. That will change.

“A lot of the effort has been looked at retroactively,”  says Amit Shah, senior vp of  online marketing, mobile & social of 1-800Flowers, in speaking at MediaPost's Internet of Things conference:

But in the future, Shah says: “[Data scientists] will become the 'tester in chief'. They will have to work closely with the creative side... They’ll be asking the question: So what? What are you going to do next with what Fitbit is sending us about data from our customers?”

Says Tony Clement, vp of analytics of Big Spaceship: “The skill sets that we really need from these individuals is of lateral thinking  -- how to use its analytics, numbers, metrics that might not have been conventional to what we have seen a past.”

But, even before these goals are met, there is a more basic need: Hiring the right person who can communicate.

“At Group M, it use to be when we were looking to hire people, it would be someone with a marketing degree,” says Brandon Fischer, director of predictive insights of GroupM Next. Now, he says, “we are looking for someone with a math degree who can write in complete sentences and can speak well for themselves --  which is hard to find, believe me.”

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