Big Data and Data Analytics are often termed as the 'new oil' due to their huge role in furling the economy through information and insight. However, demand for professionals with the skill sets to extract value from masses of data has already started to outstrip supply. A study by business software vendor SAS and Tech Partnership shows that demand for Big Data staff has increased by 1,000% since 2008, while the number of jobs posted for the role has soared by 41% during the last twelve months alone.
However, the critical importance of effective Big Data strategies and Analytics in the digital age has resulted in a scarce supply of candidates for core roles and other niche jobs such as Data Modelling, Data Management and Data Mining. It means three-quarters of all Big Data roles are now considered 'hard to fill' while almost half are deemed 'very hard to fill' with data scientists topping the scarcity list. The recruitment industry is finding it increasingly difficult to find candidates that have the appropriate interpersonal, leadership and business skills to take advantage of Big Data’s potential.
SAS UK & Ireland Managing Director, Mark Wilkinson said: “Building analytical capabilities is vital if the UK is to remain competitive in the global information economy. The explosion of data, which has been likened to the new corporate oil, is set to continue at an exponential rate. The arrival of the Internet of Things, where billions of internet-connected devices will each generate their own stream of data, only serves to underline this point. According to Cisco, by 2020 there will be 50 billion such devices. But the data is of no value unless there is the analytical capability to extract insights and business value from it.”
He added that skills gaps remain the biggest barrier to the adoption of Big Data Analytics, a situation that is being made more complex by the skill requirements demanded by businesses. SAS' 'What Makes a Great Data Scientist' survey found that it was almost impossible for one professional to have all the technical and soft skills needed, which suggests that firms should look at developing a data science team which comprises individuals with complementary skills. The survey also highlighted difficulties for recruiters in sourcing candidates with the right combination of knowledge, experience and generic skills.
Future demand is set to increase significantly between 2015 and the end of the decade due to the proliferation of internet-connected devices and the sheer volume of data they generate. Big Data specialist employment is set to increase 6% by that time, which equates to 346,000 more job opportunities.
This article has been written by Colin McGill - Principal Consultant - BI, Data & Analytics Practice, if you would like to discuss your BI, Data & Analytics recruitment requirements with Colin McGill, please contact him on +44 (0)20 7014 0230 or alternatively send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org@montash.com.
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