Businesses Will Need One Million Data Scientists by 2018

Deepening shortage of Data Science talent and cybersecurity challenges are trends shaping business in 2016.

Deloitte recently released the third edition of its annual report identifying the high impact Analytics trends that would transform business strategy in 2016.
“Business leaders continue to face many varying challenges and opportunities, and staying ahead of these trends will have a lasting impact on how their organizations will operate in the future,” said John Lucker, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP in a press release. “By going on the offensive with issues such as cybersecurity, organizations are making a strategic shift in the way they operate. Concurrently, the widening data scientist talent gap could be a business growth barrier. One thing is certain: effectively using analytics is essential in delivering insights that help achieve new levels of innovation and value.”

The six major Analytics Trends in 2016:

  1. The man-machine dichotomy blurs

    Cognitive technologies gathered more than $1 billion in venture capital funding in 2014 and 2015. The overall market revenue for cognitive solutions is expected to exceed $60 billion by 2025. Rather than nurture the fear that “machines will over-smart humans”, we should work towards a future where smart people and smart machines complement one another to deliver unprecedented value and performance. This collaboration would not be easy to perceive and adapt to, as there would inevitably be some job losses. Smart companies will think about these issues proactively and restructure their workforce accordingly.

  2. Analytics expands across the enterprise

    Gone are the days when business leaders were skeptical of enterprise-level analytics investments. Today, the success criteria is more about connecting these dispersed analytics capabilities to build the “insight-driven organization (IDO)”. In 2016, “Big Data” will no longer be a hype, as companies move towards shaping an “everywhere analytics” world – where data-driven decision making is deeply embedded in all business processes. This next level of analytics is sometimes also termed as “analytics transformation” or “industrialized analytics”.

  3. Cybersecurity: A good defense isn’t enough

    This trend continues to stay at forefront since last year, as more and more organizations continue to experience attacks from cyber criminals causing financial as well as reputation losses. Today, organizations need to think about security ground up while building any technological systems. International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that US federal government agencies alone would spend more than $14.5 billion on IT security in 2015. And the worldwide financial services industry would spend $27.4 billion on information security and fraud prevention.

    Smart organizations are going beyond mere defense tasks by experimenting with predictive approaches to threat intelligence and monitoring, through collaboration between analytics and cybersecurity teams.

  4. The Internet of Things – and people, too

    The Internet of Things (IoT) is no more limited to just the gadgets; it is rather integrating to a wide range of things, including humans to form new business models — think Uber — and influence people’s behaviors.

    "It's difficult to think of an industry that can't be transformed or improved by the IoT," the report states. "While considerable effort remains to develop IoT standards and link up sensor-based data, there are already many possible applications that can provide value today — including helping people improve fitness, enhance efficiency and save money."

    International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that the worldwide IoT market will grow from $655.8 billion in 2014 to $1.7 trillion in 2020. Devices, connectivity, and IT services will likely make up two-thirds of the IoT market in 2020, with devices (modules/sensors) alone representing more than 30 percent of the total.

  5. Companies bridge the talent gap

    Despite the surge in data science related programs (more than 100 in US alone), universities and colleges cannot produce data scientists fast enough to meet the business demands. More importantly, they certainly cannot produce experienced data analysts or scientists from their two or four year programs.

    International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts a need for 181,000 people with deep analytical skills in the US by 2018 and a requirement for five times that number of positions with data management and interpretation capabilities.

    “To complicate matters, there is no clear set of capabilities that define a “data scientist,” because different problems require different skill sets”, the report states. “Some organizations are taking a multipronged approach by supplementing campus recruiting with alternatives—from turning to managed analytics to cultivating in-house talent.”

  6. Business borrows from the sciences

    Analytics is experiencing a major renaissance, ushered in by big advances and investments in technological and data capabilities. As a result, business analytics has reached a next level of maturity.

    “This environment—marked by a reinvigorated interest in business analytics combined with separate-but-related advances in analytics in the sciences—is one that is ripe for cross-pollination”, the Deloitte report explains. “Already we are beginning to see techniques borrowed from the world of science and applied to business challenges. In one example, an organization leveraged tools used by DNA researchers as the keys to unlocking insights buried in tens of thousands of emails. These developments are in their nascent stages now, but there are plenty of signs of a coming explosion in shared analytics tools, techniques, and processes between the sciences and the business world.”

Overall, Data Science and Analytics will continue to be one of the cornerstones for innovation as the businesses explore its revolutionary potential to transform business processes, generate new business models, boost operations’ efficiency and catalyze innovation.

Here is the detailed report on Deloitte website, with a case study for each trend.