What Kind of Data Science Talent Do You Need in Your Team Now?

What Kind of Data Science Talent Do You Need in Your Team Now?

The changes that the world has gone through this year have been significant. Technology has been at the heart of many of the success stories of the pandemic.  

Banking and payment tech have been integral to the survival of many organisations, as the world moves towards a digital-first model. The pandemic has been a test of the strength of tech teams across different sectors, but particularly in the banking and payment tech sphere. 

Due to the profound changes that have happened around the world, now is the time to assess if you really have the right data science talent in your team, to drive success and stay competitive in the market. 

Today, we’re looking at what kind of data science talent to look out for to keep your team and your organisation thriving in a post-Covid world.  

Critical Thinking 

While it is a number-heavy profession, the most elite data scientists must also possess the ability to think critically about decisions and use their reasoning skills to apply objective analysis of facts. 

The global artificial intelligence and innovation lead for data and analytics at consulting firm PwC said recently that data scientists“need to understand the business problem or decision being made and be able to ‘model’ or ‘abstract’ what is critical to solving the problem, versus what is extraneous and can be ignored”. 

Critical thinking is a skill that can be gained over time spent on multiple projects, but it can also be present in great employees with less experience. 

When looking for excellent data scientists for your team, assess their ability to step back and look at challenges from multiple points of view. 

Being Aware of Tech Vulnerabilities 

One of the biggest success stories of this year is the speed with which data teams adapted to the changes that were happening around us. 

Businesses across all sectors relied on the robust data talent in their teams to accurately spot and respond to what was needed at a particular time. Such as banking and payment tech teams who quickly responded to a vast increase in online payments, and the system requirements and cybersecurity surrounding this.  

Digital payments skyrocketed this year in the UAE; it was highlighted by industry leaders at the recent DigiPay 2020: The Future of Digital Payments Summit.  

Dr. Tamer Eltoni, Chief Commercial Officer of Digital Finance Services at Etisalat, said that “the world is changing, and customer behaviour is changing. Customers want flexibility on different forms of digital payments. The UAE is blessed with amazing infrastructure, and there is still lots of opportunity for digital payments.” 

But while great data scientists must be innovative and quick to adapt, they must also be aware of the limitations and vulnerabilities of their tech. 

We are still in a period of flux, and things won’t settle back down to ‘normal’ for some time.  

A great data scientist is one who is aware of the risks to security and privacy that come along with cutting edge tech, and who can work towards making new technology ethical and transparent.

To achieve this, your data scientists must not only have excellent tech skills but high emotional intelligence and the ability to be self-critical, flexible and adaptable.  

A Life-Long Learner 

There were severe skills shortages in the tech sphere pre-Covid, which have only been accelerated by the pandemic. 

For example, the shortage of certain data tech skills, the University of London in the UK is running an MSc Data Science programme to help address the shortage of critical skills in the tech sphere.  

Introducing data scientists into your team who are dedicated to life-long learning will ensure that you have a team always equipped to deal with novel problems in the most cutting edge way. 

With the rise of remote working, it is essential that your data science team are able to not only work from home but to work on developing themselves from home, too. 

In-person training has been put on hold this year, but what kind of learning and development are your team undergoing from home? 

Have you instructed them to complete their own training; have you encouraged them to complete in-house or external virtual training? 

Self-development is going to be key in our post-Covid world, so remember to encourage this in your current team members, and look for candidates dedicated to life-long learning when you are next recruiting.  


Right now is one of the most exciting times for banking, payment tech and cybersecurity, with a vast scope for growth in this sector, caused by opportunities created by recent shifts in the market.  

If you are looking for talented data scientists for your team, we can help. 

We recruit elite professionals in the financial and technology space, including digital transformation, digital payments and cards, banking technology, software development, plus many more

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you recruit your next data scientist, call me on +971(0)4 564 6255 or contact us via email here to find out more.



About Flow 

The Middle East is a dynamic and growing market where identifying top talent and world-class professionals for the financial services and technology industry is highly competitive.     

Flow provides an executive search service led by industry experts, geared to any level of role within the Financial Services and Technology Industries. This service is driven by innovative, established and proven research teams who customise each requirement from our clients. 

Importantly at Flow, we meet with all our candidates face to face to gain an understanding of their requirements, ensuring we guide them in finding their ideal role.  

To find out more get in contact with one of our team today.