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September 11, 2014

UK companies failing to find big data talent

89% rate big data as “very important” but can't agree a definition.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Nearly half of UK tech professionals are struggling to find people with the right skills to lead data management and analytics.

A survey of 1,000 companies in 19 countries, conducted by Accenture found that four in 10 struggled to acquire the right analytical talent, while 37% said they did not have the talent to run big data and analytics on an ongoing basis.

"We’ve seen organisations overcome big data implementation challenges by remaining flexible and recognising that no single solution suits every situation," said Vince Dell’Anno, managing director and global information management lead, Accenture Analytics.

"If a particular approach doesn’t work, organisations quickly try another one, learning as they grow. They also start small and stay realistic in their expectations. Rather than attempting to do everything at once, they focus resources around proving value in one area, and then let the results cascade from there."

The research also found that 54% of executives said their companies have already developed internal technical training opportunities for their employees, while 5% said their company used internal resources for their big data projects.

60% of executives said their companies have successfully implemented big data tools, of which 92% said they are "satisfied with the results", with 89% rating big data as "very important" or "extremely important" to their digital strategy.

Narendra Mulani, senior managing director, Accenture Analytics said: "Businesses are at a transition point­­ where instead of just talking about the potential results that can be achieved from big data, they are realising actual benefits including increasing revenues, a growing base of loyal customers, and more efficient operations.

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"They’re recognising that big data is one of the cornerstones of digital transformation."

The research also revealed that many companies have different definitions of big data.

When asked which of the following do you consider part of big data, 60% said "advanced analytics or analysis", 65% said "large data files" and 50% said data from visualisation tools.

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