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How to be an effective remote Data Scientist

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In the past few years, the trend of working remotely has been growing in popularity. However, with the outbreak of COVID-19, remote work has become a norm in many industries, including Data Science. Remote work in Data Science offers many advantages, such as flexibility and increased productivity. However, it can be challenging to be an effective remote Data Scientist. In this article, we will discuss the best ways to be an effective remote Data Scientist and score highly in your feedback rounds.

1. Be proactive, be the "spiritus movens" of the project

As a remote Data Scientist, you need to be proactive and take the initiative to move the project forward. You should not hesitate to follow up with your team members if you don't receive a response to your emails or messages. A quick message on Slack or Discord can do wonders to keep the project moving forward. If you don't receive a response from your colleagues, escalate the issue to your manager. If you enounter any blockers, find a workaround, rather than justifying why it can't be done.

Being proactive will help your manager see that you are taking your role seriously and are committed to delivering the project on time. As such, it is typically very closely correlated with your promotion chances and managerial career potential.

2. Use external resources to consult your intuitions

Working remotely can sometimes make it difficult to get input from colleagues or superiors. However, this should not prevent you from seeking help from external resources. For example, when preparing the modelling approach, consult Kaggle competitions' solutions for the SOTA approaches, or the most significant papers on the topic before your recommendation. This will help you make more informed decisions, and your colleagues will appreciate your efforts to provide well-researched solutions.

3. Understand the industry you work in

Industry knowledge is critical for any Data Scientist, whether working remotely or in an office. However, being remote, you get fewer opportunities to acquire hear-by knowledge from the business team. Therefore, you should make a conscious effort to learn about the industry you work in. Attend industry events, read industry publications, and ask questions to your colleagues who are more familiar with the industry. Understanding the industry will help you deliver better solutions and communicate more effectively with stakeholders.

4. Be very clear about your goals

As a remote Data Scientist, you need to be very clear about your goals. This includes putting a lot of things on paper, such as Jira tickets, docs, slides, etc. Make sure you are aligned with your manager before starting any work. By doing this, you will avoid misunderstandings and ensure that you deliver what is expected of you.

5. In remote communication be gentle and always assume the best intentions of other engineers

Being an effective remote data scientist requires more than just technical skills; it also requires strong communication skills. In a remote work environment, communication can be a challenge, as it lacks the in-person interactions that we are accustomed to. To overcome this challenge, it is essential to be gentle in your communication style and always assume the best intentions of other engineers. This means avoiding confrontational or accusatory language and instead focusing on collaboration and problem-solving. It also means being patient and understanding that miscommunications can occur in virtual environments. By adopting a positive and collaborative approach to remote communication, data scientists can build stronger working relationships with their colleagues and contribute more effectively to their team's success.