Talent Shortage Could Make Big Data a Bit Smaller
Forrester have been heavy supporters of big data and its ability to transform how companies deliver on their objectives.
The Wall Street Journal report however that the big data ambitions of organizations are being hampered by something not at all technical - a simple lack of talent.
Big Data has grown in popularity and importance because of the sheer volume of data organizations are now collecting about every facet of their operation. The value comes when they unearth nuggets of gold in that data that allows them to do things better.
However, according to a report published last year by McKinsey, there is a problem. "A significant constraint on realizing value from Big Data will be a shortage of talent, particularly of people with deep expertise in statistics and machine learning, and the managers and analysts who know how to operate companies by using insights from Big Data," the report said. "We project a need for 1.5 million additional managers and analysts in the United States who can ask the right questions and consume the results of the analysis of Big Data effectively."
URL shortening service bit.ly believe a data scientist should have three key skills:
- They can take data and model it mathematically
- They have engineering skills
- They can tell stories with the insights they find
Inspiring action from the insight is often the hardest step and one that many fall down on. Having data is useless if it doesn't drive actions.
Unfortunately universities are not doing a very good job producing these individuals.
Nigel Shadbolt, who doubles up as the professor of artificial intelligence at the University of Southampton as well as co-director (along with Tim Berners-Lee) of the U.K.'s Open Data Institute, said the courses don't yet exist. "Bits of it do exist in various departments around the country, and also in businesses, but as an integrated discipline it is only just starting to emerge."Continued on the next page