How the lack of skills is holding Big Data back?

A survey released at Ireland’s first National Analytics Conference revealed that 80 percent of Irish businesses recognize the significant benefits of Big Data but can’t really utilize the technology due to the lack of qualified staff.

The report was conducted by the Analytics Institute, EY, and UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School. The researchers also found out that nearly 70 percent of Irish businesses will hire more analytics professionals next year. 79 percent of them found it difficult to recruit people with sufficient skills.

Ireland’s Analytics Institute shared that this report is the first major research into the use of analytics in Ireland. Along the process, they realized that Irish businesses did see the value and benefits of Big Data in performance and competitiveness improvement. More than a half of surveyed companies found Big Data and analytics were having a positive impact on their businesses.

In 2018, around 27 percent of these businesses have spent over €1 million on analytics. 69 percent of them expect to spend even more next year. Their main concern, however, is the lack of talents in the industry while the technologies are advancing quickly. These businesses hold huge transformative potential in the use of big data and analytics. The deficit in human resources is holding them back.

The solution for this emergent issue is to create a solid supply system of talents in the STEM fields to supplement for the current shortage. At the same time, it is important to set the ground for a sufficient skilled workforce for the future. In order to do so, there is a need for business leaders who know and appreciate technology.

The report also provided evidence on how a business’s culture and organizational structures affect the utilization of analytics and big data in that company. Around 60 percent of the surveyed businesses found budget deficit and organizational compatibility a critical obstacle when adopting analytics and big data. Whereas, 56 percent of the businesses called out the culture intuition-based decision making in their organizations was hurting the company’s progress in big data and analytics.

Those matters call for immediate changes in businesses’ cultural and organizational commitment that nurtures the growth of big data and analytics technologies. Without these changes, an organization can never leverage the maximum power of big data and analytics. The researchers are confident that improvements are on their way and will bring significant benefits to all businesses.

In conclusion, the report called for the formation of a culture of analytics across organizations who decide to take big data and analytics as an important part of their operation. Businesses need to stop addressing analytics and other technologies as ‘tech issue’ and focus on preparing its human resources to take full benefits of the data and technologies that the companies adopt. Only when a business and its people see big data, analytics, or any other technology as an integrated cell of the organization, the technology will reach its optimal potential.

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