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EMC conducts global Data Science survey

Study reveals that companies are not utilising data effectively

EMC conducted a global study into big data managment and found that only one-third of companies use data effectively.
EMC conducted a global study into big data managment and found that only one-third of companies use data effectively.

Only one-third of companies are effectively using new data to assist their business decision making, gain business advantage, drive productivity growth, yield innovation and reveal customer insights, according to EMC Corporation.

"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. 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," said Andreas Weigend, PhD Stanford, head of the Social Data Lab at Stanford, former chief scientist Amazon.com.

EMC conducted a Data Science global survey, which spanned the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, India and China. The study was designed to reveal and quantify the global scarcity of the skills needed for a company to capitalise on opportunities found at the intersection of Big Data and data analytics. 

The survey revealed that the explosion of digital data, combined with new tools for analysing data has created an explosion in the opportunity to generate value and insights from the data and demand for data science talent has rapidly outstripped supply. 

"Neither tools nor people alone can solve the challenges of Big Data.  They must work together and that is the promise of data science.  Despite advances in software tools, the number of people with experience using these tools, and with real-life exposure to large-scale data sets, is small.  Data science is a young field, and its growth will be fueled as much by technology as through the mentorship of new acolytes by leading practitioners," said Michael Driscoll, PhD Boston University, co-founder and CTO at MetaMarkets.

The EMC Data Science Study respondents included approximately 500 members of the global data science community, including data scientists and professionals from related disciplines such as: data analysts, data specialists, business intelligence analysts, information analysts and data engineers globally.

The study found that only one-third of respondents are very confident in their company's ability to make business decisions based on new data and that 65% of data science professionals believe demand for data science talent will outpace the supply over the next five years.

Barriers to Data Science adoption, according to the EMC study, include a lack of skills or training (32%) budget/resources (32%), the wrong organisational structure (14%) and lack of tools or technology (10%).

Data scientists require significantly greater business and technical skills than today's business intelligence professional.  According to the Data Science Study, they are twice as likely to apply advanced algorithms to data, but also 37% more likely to make business decisions based on that data.

According to the study, only 12% of business intelligence professionals and 22% of data scientists strongly believe employees have the access to run experiments on data - undermining a company's ability to rapidly test and validate ideas and thus its approach to innovation.

"The Big Data era has arrived in full force, bringing with it an unprecedented opportunity to transform business and the way we work and live. Through the convergence of massive scale-out storage, next-generation analytics and visualization capability, the technology is in place. What's needed to fully realize its value is a vibrant, interconnected, highly-skilled and empowered data science community to reveal relevant trend patterns and uncover new insights hidden within," said Jeremy Burton, EVP and chief marketing officer, EMC Corporation.