The "War for -Big Data- Talent"

Big Data has been the key topic within the IT Space since 2010, with many companies deciding what they can do with their data and how. Speaking with analytics managers on a daily basis has allowed me to understand their key concern of “where do I find the talent for my projects”

The True Picture

There are only a handful of companies who have the necessary talent to uncover insights from huge data volumes. In the past, organisations relied on statistical sampling, but due to Big Data tech, the entire data bulk can now be analyzed, but again we run to the same conclusion of where are the skilled consultants who can do the job using the latest tech.

According to the McKinsey Global Institute report, by 2018 there will be a massive shortage of Big Data Analysts, with the US along being without up to 190,000 workers!

In the MGI report it states:

“ 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”

Over the past 18 months, many of my clients have kicked off Big Data projects, with the most needed consultants being either Big Data Engineers or Data Scientists. Typically 85% of the Engineers I have placed are contractors with the skillset being relatively easy to find compared to Data Scientists. Data Scientists who have strong expertise in Machine Learning have been where the skills shortages lie, with many clients typically looking to change their tactic of finding graduates or within the existing workforce who have strong stats / computer science background to up skill as a Data Scientist.

In conclusion, due to massive skill shortages, clients are looking to up skill existing staff within the Data Science area, which should ease the massive skill shortage that we are facing.