Professional services consultancy Procorre has reported a boost in demand for data scientists and other specialist big data contractors. The company, which manages the life cycle of IT projects around the world, has seen a significant increase in the demand for sophisticated data analysis skills. Procorre expects this to rise in the coming months as more businesses begin to treat big data as a strategic asset and ramp-up their investment in it. However, this rise comes with a warning that this increase in demand will lead to the skills shortage, which has been mooted over the last few years, becoming a reality.
Wiktor Podgorski, head of the relationship management team at Procorre, said: “All the rhetoric and hype around big data is now becoming reality as traditional business leaders wake up to the opportunities of data-driven decisions taking the place of gut instinct. We are now seeing massive demand for data scientists in the marketplace. This is no longer just a need for analysts but for talented people who can combine statistical analysis, predictive modelling and programming with a creative flair for visualising data which tells a story in an insightful and engaging way.”
Procorre has identified three key themes driving the big data skills demand across a wide variety of business sectors:
· Falling costs – Big data analysis has been primarily taken up by large corporates that are able to invest significant resources. As the sector has grown, developments in technology have made big data more affordable. Many commentators now expect 2016 to be the tipping point where companies of all shapes and sizes will be able to afford access to complex data.
· Big data goes mainstream – One of the key factors which has driven costs down is the advances in technology from innovators and entrepreneurs harnessing data to create cutting edge hardware and products. At the recent global Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, all the hottest topics – including autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things and augmented reality – are made possible by big data. This trend will only continue to push innovation and affordability.
· Security – Following recent high profile hacks of companies like TalkTalk and Ashley Madison, corporate paranoia around data protection is sky high. Combined with new European data protection laws coming into effect in 2018, which will see heavy fines for data breaches, this means business leaders are taking data management more seriously than ever before as they invest in people and resources.
Podgorski added: “The demand for data scientists naturally means employers are prepared to pay to get people with the right skills. However, with the global big data market predicted to be worth over US$41 billion by 2018, the supply of data scientists in Europe is low.”