'The accuracy of the data is often insufficient'

Chong-Ho Hwang, Senior Manager at Kerkhoff Consulting about the advances of data scientists in industry - and the profile they should meet.

INDUSTRIEMAGAZIN: Mr Hwang, are data specialists in production companies on the rise - or is this a rumour?

Chong-Ho Hwang: Due to increasing complexities in production companies, we can see tendencies towards a collaboration between companies that deal with fast-moving products and external data specialists. As far as our experience goes, these collaborations are focussed on material management and transport logistics. Another area refers to MES systems that deal with Smart Production. In this area, there is a high demand for the implementation of management systems in manufacturing companies as well as an intense involvement in the implementation plans.

How many degrees of freedom within the organisation do these specialists require?

Hwang: Data analysts require complete transparency regarding the data and data structures. This does not only include production data, but all data along the value creation chain - from the point of sale to sourcing data and information.

However, the precision of the data is problematic in some companies. Usually, data specialists do not have any responsibilities to make organisational decisions, but they support the professional specialists with well-grounded analyses so that they can make deductions and come to decisions.

In addition to technical knowledge, what character traits do these specialists have to have?

Hwang: Integrity and competency, as well as independence are extremely important when performing objective data analyses. Ability to work in a team and strong communication skills are also important requirements for future data specialists. Data interpretation is one thing, but the appropriate preparation and communication of analysis results can help to avoid potential misunderstanding. Furthermore, it is important to make the topic interesting for employees and to enable them to successfully use data analyses. The majority of companies is in great need of further training in this area.

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