Demand for big data specialists to grow by 243% in next 5 years


A third of the UK’s larger organisations will deploy big data programmes in the next five years, a new report has predicted.

To support this increase, the demand for big data specialists will grow by 243% to 69,000, according to the research, which saw e-skills UK and SAS look at information supplied by 1,000 UK businesses with over 100 employees.

Some 90% of respondents said they could achieve major or minor business benefits by raising the skills of their big data analytics users.

Data and analytics skills were identified as most likely to generate the largest business benefits, and 45% said they would realise business benefits through appropriate training.

This is especially important as three out of five revealed they find it challenging to hire the specialists that they need.

The impact goes beyond the big data specialists. Currently, it is estimated that there are around 94 core big data users in every large UK organisation that has implemented a big data analytics programme, equating to about 383,000 people in total.

These are employees – outside of the IT or data teams – who use specific big data tools such as dashboards, key performance indicator data or market analysis.

Though proportionately, the report continued, the rise in the number of big data users is likely to be lower than specialists (177 per cent over the next five years), and the number of users is set to rise dramatically to around 644,000 by 2017.

Lord Green, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, said business sectors across the economy are being transformed by data, analytics and modelling.

“The UK now has the opportunity to take a lead in the global efforts to deal with the volume, velocity and variety of data created each day,” he said. “To do this, we need to ensure the government, academia and businesses work together to further develop the skills available to us today and actively support programmes that nurture development in the next generation.”

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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