The IT market current lacks the necessary specialist professionals to work in the growing area of big data despite growing demand, according to a new report.
The findings from IT recruitment site CWJobs.co.uk add weight to previous research and reveal that businesses have an urgent need for IT specialists across a number of specialist roles, including data management and analysis.
The findings are based on a survey of 538 IT professionals from the CWJobs database during September 2012, and show that data specialists in the financial sector are seeing the greatest demand.
Meanwhile 17 percent of respondents said Hadoop understanding was a big data skill particularly in demand.
"Businesses across a number of sectors are starting to tune in to the advantages of using data to better understand their customers and stakeholders, which in turn enables them to provide a better service," said CWJobs website director Richard Nott.
"Data, however, is meaningless without someone to interpret and manage; this is where IT specialists are becoming invaluable and are key to helping companies to deliver growth in a tough climate."
Benjamin Woo, lead big data analyst at Neuralytix, said the problem in the big data space is that true "data scientists" are currently a rare breed.
"Data scientists are not your typical white lab coat wearing scientists running around with a clipboard. A data scientist not only needs analytical and statistical skills; they also need business skills and most importantly, a personality," Woo told V3.
"Big data is about connecting data with intuition and experience to arrive at insightful decisions that make a difference to an enterprise. Neither IT people nor business analysts transfer easily to becoming a data scientist."
Woo said that even though there is a shortage of big data professionals, there are actually very few companies that advertise defined jobs for this role.
He said those that do are often financial firms, which are beginning to build data science departments. A number of universities have already started to offer courses as part of its computer science curriculum, he added.
The research ties in with the findings of a previous EMC survey, conducted at the annual Data Scientist Summit in Las Vegas. The survey generated 500 responses from members of the data science community.
According to EMC the explosion of digital data created by mobile sensors, social media, surveillance, medical imaging, smart grids and the like - combined with new tools for analysing it all - has created a corresponding explosion in the opportunity to generate value and insights from the data.
As such, the business demand for data scientists has quickly outpaced the supply of talent.
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