Can a Data Scientist become a CEO?


by Apoorva Bellapu


July 4, 2021

No wonder, data science is one of the most sought after professions. Someone who knows how to play with numbers has great analytical and critical thinking skills and has the potential to get the most out of data has a good chance of becoming a data scientist. By following the path of data science, many are keen to know if they could become CEOs in the long term. Well, with data being the backbone of any business, a data scientist with enough knowledge about it could surely become a successful CEO.

Can a data scientist become a CEO?

Watching all these data scientists turned CEOs is proving to be motivating for those interested in the data field who are all set to aim big in life. It should be noted that most of the data scientists who reached the C suite became the CEOs of companies they founded on their own. Entering the magical world of data opens doors for data scientists to gain as much knowledge as possible and become one of the most inspiring CEOs in the world.

All of these widely recognized CEOs around the world are a wealth of knowledge and they have the potential to transform data in ways that can help grow the business.

Taking a lot of inspiration from those CEOs who started out as data scientists, it’s important to understand what skills they have and how you can instill all of that. Needless to say, being exceptionally good at data science is essential, but it’s not the only criteria that will allow you to become an inspiring CEO.

  • Clear and concise communication is the first step to leaving an everlasting impression. When the CEO follows clear and concise communication, it becomes much easier to get the message out to others. It is only after that that they are inspired to work better and achieve the goals of the organization.
  • A CEO must be able to gather ideas, concerns and feedback from employees. Such a level of comfort, when maintained, helps build trust and, of course, stronger relationships.
  • Successful CEOs should make a point of maintaining transparency in the workplace. This is one of the most important points to note as it has been observed that CEOs who fail to maintain transparency regarding even the smallest work-related decision have led employees to question their intention.
  • A CEO can never sustain if there isn’t new knowledge gained over time. Since the world of data science is associated with regular updating, a CEO should make a point of being well up to date with all the latest data-related events.

Ultimately, it all comes down to: Along with having a solid knowledge of data, data science, data analytics, and the tools and techniques needed to get the most out of data, it’s important that factors like effective communication, transparency, accessibility, etc. . are also well accounted for.

Additionally, the path to CEO becomes much easier if a data scientist aims to become Chief Data Officer (CDO) first. Indeed, a CDO is one of the most difficult jobs you can think of. A CDO must adapt quickly to changes in the business while maintaining high standards of governance over how data is used. So having CDO experience adds value to your career. It further translates into a relatively easy path to becoming CEO.

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Sean N. Ayres