Mind the Gap: The Data Science Skills Shortage
December 6, 2019 by Jon O'Keefe

It’s safe to say you can’t turn a corner in the business world without hearing something about big data. Undoubtedly one of the biggest trends of the age, big data has the potential to transform the way we interpret and assess data at a fundamental level. The promise of this data analysis, however, has only been a promise for most business as they are still lacking the data science and analysis skills to dig into said data.

 

Despite big data being technologically available for many years, a significant number of organizations have yet to hire or train the right people to unlock the data’s potential, or they simply do not have enough data scientists. This area of the digital sector is desperately in need of talent and the gap is only going to continue to widen as time goes on. A recent study and report by IBM found that approximately 28-percent of jobs will actually be in the field of data science by the end of 2020.

 

What exactly has caused this skills gap? To put it simply, the demand for data analysis has grown at an exponential rate recently and there are not enough professionals being trained in this area to fill the open roles. Businesses who still need these vital skills in their offices are facing two choices: try to recruit and hire a golden goose of a data scientist or invest in data science training for existing employees.

 

Rather than attempting to hire in a ghost town of a candidate marketplace, the wiser choice is to invest in data science training and “upgrading” the skills of current employees. By identifying a few key skills in said employees, such as programming capabilities and quantitative skills, organizations can augment their talents with the latest in the data science field with access to tools like Python. This identification of skills in employees should not be limited to those only in the world of development either. If you want to build a culture driven by data, you must educate those in fields such as marketing, engineering, finance, and other various business areas to be adept in the world of data science.

 

This is already being done by many large companies out there. Airbnb, for example, provides the opportunity to learn about data to any employees who shows interest in it. As of last year, nearly an eight of their employees had already been trained in the area – and dividends were proving it.

 

Needless to say, there is no better time than the present to invest and offer your employees training in data science if you want to further a company backed by data. Without these vital skills, you could be missing out on the insights and information that could make a world of difference to your business.