4 Reasons All Data Scientists Should Be Skilled in Psychology

Learn why data scientists should be skilled in psychology and how it can help business and data skills. Data scientist and data psychologists drive meaning.

November 16, 2018
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Data science was recently named “the sexiest job of the 21st-century by Harvard Business Review. Today, enterprises that range from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies are aggressively seeking the most talented data science specialists on the market. These experts help companies make sense of massive amounts of information, solve complex problems and improve operations. Data science experts who are trained in psychology are hot prospects. There’s a rapidly growing need among business leaders to gain a better understanding of human behavior, prompting many to employ the services of data science specialists who trained in psychology. The dual modality specialists help them to stand out among information experts who lack training in the understanding the human mind. This has encouraged a segment of data experts to return to school to add psychology training to their career toolkit. Each time that a consumer uses a search engine or sign up for a newsletter or brand loyalty program, enterprises record the interaction. As a result, the enterprises amass an enormous amount of data, making the subject of information management and utilization a common point of discussion among today’s business leaders. The following 4 sections highlight 4 more reasons why data scientists should be skilled in psychology.

1. Understanding Human Behavior Helps You Excel

In general, psychology is the study of the mind and human behavior. Relatively recently, data scientists have developed innovative ways to study the human mind, such as big data systems that evaluate the actions of countless consumers and workers. The challenge of the profession is that things such as thoughts, dreams, hopes, needs and desires are intangible. The only way to discover these sentiments is to observe large segments of the population and make assumptions based on their actions. Armed with their knowledge of human behavior, psychologists ask questions, collect data and create theories, as well as suggest courses of action based on what they have observed from information analyses. Psychology experts aid business leaders in overcoming this challenge and unearthing deep insights into enterprise customers and employees.

2. Technology Is Driven by the User and Their Mind

For organizational leaders, it’s imperative that they understand how their clients or consumers think. This understanding is vital for mission-critical business decision-making. With artificial intelligence powered big data systems, data psychologists can better understand how the mind functions on all levels. When used appropriately, the technology has great potential for enhancing business leaders’ ability to better understand their target consumers. This understanding sets a precedent for organizational activities and helps business leader achieve the level of competency needed to compete in the 21st– century marketplace. Because the world is growing increasingly connected, it’s quickly becoming easier for business leaders to understand the way that consumers think, with the help of big data psychologists of course.

3. Success Is Driven by Emotional Depth

Research shows that consumers do use logic when making buying decisions, but they are more influenced by emotions when making their final decision. Advertisements that help decision-makers appeal to consumer emotions, such as achievement, fond memories, friendship, love or pride, perform optimally. Advertisements that are designed to set off emotional triggers successfully convert consumers 31-percent of the time, while logic-based ad only succeeds 16-percent of the time. Campaigns that resonate with consumers drive desired actions and, sometimes, influence modern culture heavily. Because various groups think differently, a background in psychology help data scientists empathize with consumers and form new perceptions.

4. Psychological Understanding Builds Mindfulness

Data scientists with psychology training have a deeper understanding of themselves and consumers. Their ability to understand people is greatly enhanced and they can successfully help marketers develop effective communications. Because of their training, data psychologists have a better awareness and understanding of rapidly changing consumer sentiments. Their knowledge also helps with their career, health, happiness and overall attitude. Mindfulness advocates believe that every data scientists and consumer benefits from this enhanced self-awareness. The benefits of mindfulness practices include:

  • Compassion
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Enhanced empathy
  • Improved focus
  • Increased kindness
  • Mental clarity
  • More flexibility
  • Objectivity
  • Self-control

For data psychologists, it’s imperative that they can read and analyze information stores and extrapolate how the resulting reports relate to the human condition. They must have the ability to use the reports to help business leaders find new, undiscovered opportunities. Their training makes them exceptionally valued in today’s highly competitive marketplace. Data psychologists drive meaningful and valuable organizational changes. The insights that they deliver light the way toward achieving company goals. Their talent is integral for the successful development of better products and services. As the need for their special skill set increases, the available pool of their talented specialist will shrink — and their salaries will rise.