Understanding your Unicorns: Data Science Team Building in Action

Kim Nilsson (Pivigo)
Business & Industry
Location: 120-121
Average rating: ***..
(3.60, 10 ratings)
Slides:   1-PPTX 

Most presentations at events such as Strata cover technical aspects or technologies related to Big Data and Data Science. Whereas they are obviously important for the successful implementation of a data strategy, they only form half of the equation. The other half, the people implementing the strategy and using the tools, are rarely discussed in these forums. As a business leader looking to take advantage of your data assets, or as a data team leader looking to get the most out of your people, it is crucial to understand what skills you should look for in a team, how to train the team members, how to keep them motivated and how to make them work well together and be effective.

In this talk I will present some simple tools and frameworks for thinking about data team building, and illustrate their use with a case study of “theory in practice”, including motivation, career path progression, assimilation of PhDs into commercial teams and making Data Science an integral part of today’s modern data driven organisations.

I will furthermore elaborate on the experiences collected from running Europe’s largest PhD-to-Data Science programme (S2DS) on the preferred learning styles and motivations of the next generation of European Data Scientists. I will wrap up with a few key tips on how to recruit outstanding and loyal data talent.

To summarise, my talk will cover the following points:

  • Frame-work for building effective data science teams
  • Use case of framework in action
  • Experiences training junior data scientists
  • Tips for recruiting, training and retaining data scientists
Photo of Kim Nilsson

Kim Nilsson


Swedish ex-astronomer turned risk management consultant turned entrepreneur. PhD Astrophysics and MBA from Cranfield School of Management. Currently running Europe’s largest PhD-to-Data Science training programme, S2DS, based in London.