Posted by: zyxo | May 11, 2011

Honest Job Description of a Data Miner

OK. You have a job opening for a data miner.
Now what are you going to write as job description?

If you want to hire a real data miner, I suppose any good candidate knows what it is like to be a data miner. He does not need a job description.
You just tell for which department he will work : marketing, credit risk, DNA-analytics Lab, …

Take for instance this :

Experience – Familiarity with major database and statistical packages; experience with statistical and database applications in a particular area such as biology (biostatistics), physical science, economics, or marketing (from
If you do not already know this, why do you go for a data mining job ?

or this :

Job description:

  • Participation in analytical projects from the area of data analysis, processing and Data Mining
  • Preparing documentation and presenting work results
  • Cooperating with team of StatConsulting data analysts and experts
  • Actively participating in business meetings with StatConsulting clients

(from Statconsulting)

Right ! It means executing and reporting data mining work, for somebody, and you are not alone. So WTF ?

The feeling I have with each and every job description I find is the same : boooooooooooring !

Why not simply write the truth ?

For example :
The people of our marketing department do a very nice job, but we want it to be better. We want them to be more data-driven. They are able to add, subtract, divide and multiply. They can deal with the gender and age of their clients. But we have a feeling that’s not enough ! We want to take it a long way further. And that will be YOUR responsability. When it comes to figures, you hold their hands. You explain. You provide the charts. You feed them numerical insights. You perform rocket science they don’t understand, convince them to use your models and prove them that they were wrong if they did not. YOUR ultimate goal is to make THEM shine with high-return-campaigns. And silently you hope they will show some gratitude, but you very well know that at least half of them will hate your guts because you are the one who forces them to change the way they are used to do their job.”


  1. That would make a great job ad!

    I know a few people that would repond to this type of advert above the standard ‘list the algorithms and tools you know…’.

    The problem is I know a *few* people that would repond to this type of advert. Hopefully you will get a good applicant – best of luck!

  2. Tim, thanks for commenting.
    Actually, we do not use this honest version but rather the usual dull one …
    I just got the idea : “what if ?”

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