The heart of data:

why are human skills in data so important?

The possibilities of data are endless … And overwhelming. As an organization, it is tempting to collect as much knowledge as possible and have it flow to other departments. Yet that offers no guarantee that your people will actually put these insights to work. It has nothing to do with laziness. The cause often lies in the preparation and data presentation. Just as every department uses its own jargon, data also form a separate language in your organization. A lot of human skills are needed to make that translation.

Understand the objectives of data

Much has already been said and written about the advantages of a data-driven organization. Data offer a rational counterbalance to business on gut feeling. They help you as a manager make better decisions. Data are plenty. You can use them in a hundred different ways. Before getting to work, it is therefore essential to properly understand the objectives and needs of your company and teams. Which business data are valuable for whom? That is the key question. You want to know more about data science, how it’s defined and what the advantages are? Don’t hesitate and read all about it here.

Data visualization on a human scale

After the necessary data processing, it is at least as important to know how to make that information understandable to others. Your people have to get to the right data without detours. This can be achieved by presenting and visualizing data on a human scale. Feel free to compare it to a drill. Everyone understands why and how to use a drill, but no one knows the technology behind it. The tool must therefore be sufficiently intuitive that everyone can get to work with it.

What five human skills are essential for data profiling?

To ensure that the business gets to work the data at hand, these 5 human skills are essential for your data employees.


Curious perseverance

This is mainly about an inquisitive mindset and the perseverance to keep searching. This skill is an absolute must in finding a solution tailored to the question.



How to get a message across most effectively is determined by who your recipient is. A data specialist may need half a word, but a data geek may need more explanation.



They are not satisfied with ready-made answers. Data talent analyzes information in a critical manner and dares to ask specific questions in order to map out the objectives more clearly.



They want to grow towards the best version of themselves and understand that input and feedback from others is worth gold.



Data translators often work in a multidisciplinary setting. These profiles must blend well in a team and are helpful to colleagues.

Want to know more about the power of human skills in data?

Listen to the podcast with Jannes Baert and Michiel Bonte about how these skills make the difference in the war for talent.


Or do you have it in you to become a data scientist?