Business analytics seeing huge demand, outpacing talent

Businesses have better access to data and analytics than ever before and many of them are taking advantage of the benefits that these tools can offer.

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A survey out the first of December, by the EMC Corporation, is showing that nearly one-third of companies across the globe are able to use new data to aid in business decisions and reveal customer insight.

EMC reached across the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, India and China to see how companies are using data tools such as mobile sensors, social media, surveillance, medical imaging and smart grids.

Business demand for data scientists have outpaced the supply of talent.

The survey showed that one-third of respondents were confident in their company’s ability to make good business choices based on new data sources. Barriers that were identified that kept companies from using that troves of data available to the benefit of their company were: lack of skills or training (32 percent), budget (32 percent) and lack of tools or technology to utilize the data (10 percent.)

New technology is seen as a great method of gaining insight from consumers and 38 percent of business analysts said that companies should continue to use data to learn more about their customers.

DataSift’s Twitter analytic tool CEO, Rob Bailey, hails the importance of getting consumer insight from the expansive channels on the Internet, “It’s a matter of capturing the data and putting it to use,” said Bailey. “Businesses and marketing companies often throw money at researchers when they could just pull the unsolicited data that exists on sharing tools like Twitter.”

Sometimes unsolicited data is what gives the most robust and diverse responses to questions like, “How is our latest ad campaign doing?” or “What demographic likes our mobile product the most?” By going to data services that pull information from blogs, social networks and other outlet, companies can measure the use, sentiment and experiences that its clients are having around the globe-and often in real time.

“We live in a data-driven world. Increasingly, the efficient operation of organizations across sectors relies on the effective use of vast amounts of data. Making sense of big data is a combination of organizations having the tools, skills and more importantly, the mindset to see data as the new ‘oil’ fueling a company,” Andreas Weigend, head of the Social Data Lab at Stanford, and former chief scientist at amazon. com said. “Unfortunately, the technology has evolved faster than the workforce skills to make sense of it and organizations across sectors must adapt to this new reality or perish.”

Another study released in December by ClickThrough, shows that the most popular social media site and tool used by business marketers to publicize campaigns and generate leads is Twitter.

This study found that of the surveyed marketers, 91 percent said that they used Twitter. However, despite this, just 15 percent responded that the micro-blogging site generated marketing leads for them.

LinkedIn also ranked as an effective social media site for generating leads-with 32 percent touting that the professional networking site was their most successful social media tool for generating leads.

But with all the demand for data aggregation and analysis, the talent capable of acquiring and organizing this data has dried up. Currently, 65 percent of data science professionals are concerned that the demand for data talent will outpace the supply over the next 5 years. And 83 percent of respondents believe that new tools and emerging technology will increase the need for data scientists.

Because of vast amounts of information, accessibility, and the countless silos that contain the data, the current data scientists require significantly greater business and technical skills than those in the past.

With more companies moving into business- driven data such as the recently launched DataSift, and other young companies like Klout, Facebook API, and Fathom Analytics, each company is competing for the same talent and leading to some serious data competition, similar to the fight for software engineers and app designers of years ago. Regardless, training in this area will be critical to accesses the amass of information that is accruing.

Author: Krystal Peak