Turns out technical skills aren’t the determining factor for team success. In a recent study, Google found that the most productive and innovative organizations were made of interdisciplinary groups that benefited from professionals with soft skills. The study cited empathetic leadership, insights about others, and good communication. Developing soft skills adds value to the organization. Here, we’ll discuss the most important Data Engineer skills that can lead to more advanced responsibilities and career opportunities. 

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Table of Contents

  1. Verbal and Written Communication Skills
  2. Strong Work Ethic.
  3. Adaptability
  4. Critical Thinking
  5. Business Acumen
  6. Collaboration

1. Verbal and Written Communication Skills

Managers and other business leaders don’t always have a computer science background. They inherently understand the need for analytics, however, they may not understand the raw reports. Data professionals need to explain the data to leaders in non-technical terms. 

How to Build Communication Skills

  • Use active listening to understand other perspectives.
  • Pay attention to your body language to make sure you are receptive to others.
  • Ask managers for constructive feedback.

2. Strong Work Ethic.

Employers don’t want employees who come to work to do the bare minimum. They expect their team members to not only do their job but to hold themselves accountable for helping the company succeed. The rise of the citizen integrator is a strong indicator that companies expect employees to go above and beyond to help the company innovate. Data Engineers need to have a strong work ethic and put in their best to help the company succeed. 

How to Develop a Strong Work Ethic

  • Take accountability for assigned tasks.
  • Meet deadlines.
  • Ensure work is error-free

3. Adaptability

Companies are under pressure to innovate and respond to changing market conditions. When speed is the name of the game, businesses need employees who can pivot quickly without getting frustrated. As a result, adaptability is a highly sought-after skill for data professionals. 

How to Be Adaptable

  • Remember, change isn’t personal, and it is inevitable.
  • Stop and consider why the change was necessary.
  • Break projects into smaller steps rather than focus on the whole.

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4. Critical Thinking

More businesses are embracing digital transformation and thus are always on the quest for innovation. That means data specialists need to be critical thinkers and learn to think strategically. This skill allows them to perform an objective analysis for business problems. It empowers them to frame questions correctly when gathering requirements. As a result, critical thinking will bring them closer to the required solution.

How to Build Critical Thinking Skills

  • Develop a questioning mind and remain curious.
  • Consider biases to view problems from all sides
  • Break the problem into smaller chunks and focus on each one individually

5. Business Acumen

Data professionals have to deal with a massive amount of information. If they don’t know how it translates to business value, that data is of little use. When they don’t understand the business, they can’t effectively communicate to management the importance of the information and how they can use it to benefit the company. With that said, these individuals need to develop business acumen.

How to Build Business Acumen

  • Find a mentor from the business to help you learn.
  • Get comfortable reading financial statements.
  • Listen to customers and pay attention to the challenges they face.
  • Maximize your time by using low-code tools so you can focus more on business initiatives. 

6. Collaboration

According to a recent Gartner report, employees spend around 3.1 wasted hours annually trying to get around work friction. Data Engineers must realize they don’t work inside a bubble and find a way to work well with others. They must understand the importance of and embrace the idea of teamwork. 

How to Build Collaboration Skills

  • Listen and be willing to compromise.
  • Avoid assigning blame when working with others.
  • Keep an open mind about ideas presented by others.
  • Work outside your comfort zone and take projects that expose you to more people.

How Integrate.io Can Help

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Soft skills are increasingly becoming more of a must-have for Data Engineer skills. Businesses are looking for employees who can communicate and collaborate with teammates effectively. They also want employees who can translate their findings into business value and convey that information to leaders.

The Integrate.io way will enable companies to eliminate the old complex process of building applications. This new approach frees Data Engineers to focus on how to use their skills to help leaders forge new strategies for success. Contact us for a demo and risk-free trial.