Data scientists in short supply

Today, big data - and big data science - is everywhere, says Sonelia du Preez, country marketing manager for EMC Southern Africa.

Today, big data – and big data science – is everywhere, says Sonelia du Preez, country marketing manager for EMC Southern Africa.

As data has become a critical aspect of the modern enterprise, the data scientist is a key factor in enabling competitive advantage.

So says Sonelia du Preez, country marketing manager for EMC Southern Africa, who notes that across Southern Africa, there is a big data skills gap that must be addressed if businesses are to have the appropriate resources in place for making sense of their data.

McKinsey projects that by 2018, demand for data scientists may be as much as 60% greater than the supply.

Forbes indicates: “There is still a significant shortage of skilled professionals who can truly be called data scientists who can evaluate business needs and impact, write the algorithms and program platforms such as Hadoop.”

Meanwhile, market analyst firm Gartner states the need for data scientists growing at about three times those for statisticians and BI analysts, and an anticipated 100 000+ person analytic talent shortage through 2020.

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Just one year ago, Du Preez says, big data analytics was still not that well understood, with few businesses actively pursuing an implementation. “Today, big data – and big data science – is everywhere.”

She explains that data scientists gather whatever data they can and analyse it to find meaningful patterns and insights. They are more present than ever before in the business world as organisations look to realise competitive advantage.

According to Du Preez, the data scientist is a necessity for the modern business. “Regardless of the industry, the business world is far more competitive than it has been in the past.

“If businesses do not analyse their data to the fullest extent, then they are not making the most of key competitive assets. Skilled data scientists are crucial if businesses don’t want to be left behind,” she points out.

The EMC Academic Alliance recently hosted its first, free Train-the-Trainer faculty workshop in Data Science and Big Data Analytics for South African universities.

Attended by 10 university professors, the course was conducted in July at EMC Southern Africa’s premises in Johannesburg. The objective of the course was to help prepare students for successful careers in a transforming IT industry.

The EMC Academic Alliance provides faculty with free courseware to educate students on infrastructure technologies for information storage, cloud and big data. The Data Science and Big Data Analytics workshop focuses on harnessing the power of data to gain new insights.

Covering the breadth of activities, methods, and tools that data scientists use, the workshop explains concepts and principles that can be practically applied to any industry and technology environment.


Source: Data scientists in short supply

Via: Google Alert for Data Science