Recognising the immense value of data-driven business decisions, organizations worldwide are investing heavily to predict future trends and gain that competitive edge. Riding on the big wave of data, the information age/revolution unraveling before us, is witnessing the emergence of new technologies. At the same time, it is altering the way we gather, store, analyze and interpret this information. The Internet of Things (IoT), Analysis of Things (AoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Predictive Analysis are now creating disruptive advantages across business sectors.
Data Science is a niche but a rapidly evolving stream. Technology is continuously developing and the skills that are relevant today will become redundant in the next 12-18 months. Evidently, the demand for professionals who will need to upgrade and adapt to the growing level of sophistication will be huge.
So, what do future data scientists look like?
Data scientists of the future must be equipped to deal with the huge volumes, high velocity and a variety of dynamic data from multiple sources. They should be able to leverage their domain knowledge and technical abilities. This is crucial to perform the key managerial function of deriving actionable intelligence from data to tackle organisational challenges at various levels. In short, data scientists of today are the new class of innovators with business acumen and technical expertise. In addition, they possess interdisciplinary skills of programming, engineering, and social sciences.
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Do you know that India ranks second after the US with the highest demand for analytics and big data professionals?
At present, India is ranked amongst the top 10 big data analytics markets in the world. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) predicts an eight-fold growth of this industry in the future. It forecasts that the big data market will touch the $16 Bn mark by the end of 2025. This directly translates into expanding business applications and a widening scope for the role of data scientists in the country. However, the lack of skilled resources to make an informed analysis and drive business opportunities will throw stiff challenges at them.
A.T. Kearney ran The Leadership Excellence in Analytic Practices (LEAP) study in 2015, which surveyed 430 senior executives. This study was conducted across 10 countries and 30 industries. The objective of this study was to observe the opportunities and challenges that companies face while creating next-generation digital and analytics talent. It concluded that two-thirds of companies with even the most advanced analytics capabilities cannot hire enough professionals who can generate insights from corporate data. Owing to the unprecedented demand and specialized skill requisites, data scientists are among the highest paid professionals today.
Newer technologies are also creating a compelling need to hire data scientists to meet data needs. Estimates suggest that by the end of 2020, the world will have over 50 Bn smart connected devices. These devices will be responsible for collecting, analysing and sharing data, and will add to the massive volumes of already existing data. Imagine the number of data scientists required to analyse this volume of data?
Spurred by the big data movement, professionals in India are upgrading their skills in Big Data Analytics. Training and certification programs are helping them stay abreast with the latest innovations, to meet the growing demand for deep analytical skills.
Organisations are investing in an ecosystem that nurtures talent, development, and retention to hold onto data scientists. Internships at tech companies are most effective in providing exposure and training in the Big Data world. Collaborating and partnering with educational universities is a novel way to groom analytics talent from an early stage. All this helps them in upgrading the associates’ skillsets and honing them to be industry-ready for the world of analytics.