In the years to come, survival for every business in every industry will depend on a single powerful asset — the lifeblood of your organization’s beating heart — data intelligence. Unfortunately, most leaders still view the use of data through a narrow lens, grossly underestimating just how valuable it can be. This sprawling short-sightedness is about to open up the market to virtually any business, large or small, with the savvy to see the bigger picture. Data intelligence doesn’t just enhance reporting, it can predict the future (and all the decisions that go along with it) with remarkable accuracy.
The Data Scientist Dilemma
Of course, this powerful progression doesn’t come without its own challenges. Data doesn’t arrive at our feet in intelligent form. It must be made intelligent by skilled data scientists. The surge in smart technologies has created a data tsunami of epic proportions. Our IoT devices and software programs are collecting so much data, it’s become overwhelming and burdensome to manage rather than opportunistic. To make matters worse, institutions are not equipped to churn out enough skilled data scientists in time to address the growing swell, leaving organizations to flounder in a never-ending sea of their own making.
How severe is the shortage? Company searches for Data Scientists rose by 75% between 2015 and 2018. Data Scientist job searches only rose by 65%. Furthermore, IBM predicts that the demand for data scientists will continue to increase and could reach 28% by 2020, representing nearly 700,000 open jobs waiting to be filled.
All hope is not lost. One way industries can address the data scientist shortage is by encouraging specific employees to become citizen data scientists. A citizen data scientist is someone outside of the field of statistics and analytics who can use big data tools and intermediate analytical skills to perform the same predictive and prescriptive diagnostics as a data scientist. By converting existing employees with the right skills into citizen data scientists, organizations can create their talent instead of buying it at peak demand price.
We have advanced technology to thank for this opportunity. The developers behind emerging data and analytics software are over-simplifying the UX and integrating as much automation as possible to put the power of data science into the hands of non-experts. According to Gartner, more than 40% of data science tasks will be automated by 2020. By 2019, citizen data scientists will surpass data scientists in the amount of advanced analysis produced. However, that doesn’t mean data scientists are soon to become fossils embedded in the sedimentary rock of this evolutionary era. Instead, the rise of citizen data scientists will likely push traditional data scientists into more complex areas of analysis.
The bottom line...
The most significant financial sense you will make for your business this year is preparing to leverage the full potential of data science. As technology grows more intelligent in nature and simplistic in practice, organizations who cultivate their existing employees will have the necessary in-house talent and recruitment capital to build a winning team, realize the true depths of their data intelligence, and become industry leaders. However, this degree of internal growth is impossible without an effective and sustainable skills and development training program.
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