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December 22, 2014

2015 and the data scientist: 5 key predictions

CBR talks to industry experts about the role of the data scientist in 2015.

By Ellie Burns

We are becoming ever more inundated with data. With the major adoption of wearables, IoT and the cloud on the cards for 2015, how will the role of the data scientist evolve in the forthcoming year? Will the skills gap be addressed and what role will a CDO actually play in business?

Hoping to provide insight to these questions, CBR talks to industry experts about the role of the data scientist in 2015.

1. Supply will not meet demand

Dr. Rado Kotorov, Vice President of Product Marketing at Information Builders, commented: "Despite the benefits of driving BI and analytics use across an organisation, the role of the analyst and data scientist is still of great importance.

"There is high demand for these kinds of positions but unfortunately not the supply to meet it, leading to a European-wide digital skills gap. In fact, according to a study last year from O2, by 2017 Britain will need an additional 750,000 digitally-skilled workers to maximise the economic opportunity."

2. Data science – the new super power

"Data science will become the in-demand super power in our post-digital world. We already know of the skills gap in the data scientist field." Commented Richard Potter, Group Innovation Director at Steria.

"Tackling this deficiency will be a key challenge for organisations and national economies over the next few years."

"Organisations will become more adept at identifying and sharing what combined skills they have throughout the extended enterprise – including partners – applying a more collaborative way of thinking to tackle data analytics challenges."

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3. The year of the vertical data scientist

Bob Plumridge, EMEA CTO at Hitachi Data Systems told CBR: "We are still in the early phases of exploring the potential of data scientists and in 2015, we will see the emergence of data scientists specialising in particular industries."

"Whether it’s banking, healthcare or engineering, these professionals will not only need technical expertise, but they will also need to understand the business value of the data being generated and analysed in a specific sector."

"By 2020, all businesses will need their employees to have the technical skills we associate with a data scientist today. The problem we currently face is that there is a significant skills gap in the UK for workers with the advanced data skills to meet business needs."

"This will be a tough challenge to solve in only five years and the development of UK tech talent must continue to be high on the agenda for both the government and businesses alike."

4. Rise of the Chief Data Officer

Piyush Pant, Vice President of Strategic Markets at MetricStream, commented: "In 2015, we will see the emergence of a critical new role in the IT industry – the Chief Data Officer."

"An evolution of the traditional data scientist role, a CDO will possess strong left brain and right brain competencies, will excel in mathematics and science, but will also be extremely curious, collaborative, and communicative. Passionate about data, these individuals will help lead the organisational charge, working right alongside other key business leaders such as the Chief Digital Officer, Chief Information Officer and the Chief Risk Officer to drive better decision making and enhance business performance."

5. Data science becomes available to everyone

Matt Davies, Head of Marketing, EMEA at Splunk predicts: "As self-service data analytics tools are becoming easier to navigate and use, the traditional exploration, investigation and analysis undertaken by data scientists will be democratised and available to everyone."

"This in turn will help to push the mainstream adoption of Hadoop, particularly for smaller businesses with smaller budgets, giving them the possibility to access, and take advantage of the same data insights as its larger competitors."



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