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Study confirms *um prediction: Data Science expertise is more in demand than ever

Most companies are already familiar with Big Data and understand how crucial it is to business; many have already pumped money into infrastructure and initial pilot projects. To ensure that these investments pay off, companies rely on Data Science expertise, and demand for good Data Scientists is rising exponentially – as we predicted in our blog post at the start of the year. A survey of decision-makers conducted by a consultancy firm shortly afterwards clearly supports our prognosis.

Image: Berkeley Institute for Data Science

  • Data volumes are increasing dramatically.
  • The systematic evaluation of this data is pushing companies to the limits of their capacity.
  • Demand for Data Science and Data Scientists is growing.

For the study (German only), conducted in February on behalf of consultancy firm Sopra Steria, 220 managing directors, board members, and managers from companies with over 500 employees across a number of industries were surveyed – including representatives from banks, insurance companies, and other financial services providers, energy suppliers, automotive and other technical companies, the telecommunications and media sector, and public administrative bodies. The results provide a picture of the wider understanding of Data Science and how companies handle Data Science topics.

As data volume grows, so does demand

The latest figures indicate that a total of 9000 exabytes (9 billion gigabytes) of data will be produced this year alone. By 2020, this figure is expected to more than quadruple, reaching 40,000 exabytes. This explosion in data volumes is driving demand for specialists in companies who want to harness data to boost their business.

In the study, Data Scientists were referred to as "new hopes" for digitalization, and were viewed as "the most in-demand employees in the market". But their mission was somewhat oversimplified by respondents: "They convert Big Data to Smart Data and the result of this process is satisfied customers and growth. This is the kind of plan that more and more companies are putting in place.

Around 98 percent of companies are already investing in Data Science – although the vast majority (70 percent) have to date primarily plowed money into hardware: "Investment in the optimization of analysis methods has been low." But it looks like this is set to change, as 62 percent of the participants were already looking for Data Scientists to join their company. However, as these experts are in short supply, companies are increasingly investing in training and developing their existing staff for this role, too.

These results and other insights from the survey are set out in a clear, easy-to-understand infographic (German only) – proving that companies are headed in the right direction.

Data Science expertise alone is not enough

Employing Data Scientists, or training staff for this role, is a good start. But there is no point in limiting the digital "transformation" to parts of a company, or simply passing digitalization down the line to IT – this is about the (continued) digital development of the company as a whole. It’s about integrating analytics and data use into all areas of the company and all of its processes in a clear and logical way: starting with new and modern ways of thinking and acting and ultimately culminating in Digital Sovereignty.

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