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What skills are needed for big data?

May 9, 2014

The gap between the demand for analytics talent globally and the supply of talent  is one of the key obstacles to big data implementations across all organizations. In a global study of business and IT leaders conducted by IBM Institute for Business Value, 1/3 of respondents cited the lack of skills to analyze and interpret data into meaningful business actions as the top business challenge impeding better use of analytics within their organizations. And this challenge is expected to grow. Gartner says that by 2015, the demand for data and analytics resources will reach 4.4 million jobs globally, but only one-third of those jobs will be filled.

In this #BigDataMgmt Twitter chat, we will discuss which skills are most in need currently and which are hardest to develop, how academia is responding to the challenge, and how technology may be able to help.

Our special guests for the chat are Edd Dumbill (@edd), technology analyst, editor and VP of strategy at Silicon Valley Data Science; Paula Wiles Sigmon (@paulawilesigmon), program director, InfoSphere Information Server product marketing; and Tom Deutsch (@thomasdeutsch) program director, IBM big data and advanced analytics. Twitter handle @IBMbigdata will be moderating the chat.

You can follow along and join the discussion using the hashtag #BigDataMgmt. Here are the questions we’ll be discussing, as well as reference articles to help inspire the conversation on Wednesday, May 14, 12:00 noon EST.


#BigDataMgmt chat questions

  1. We hear talk of the big data skills gap. How dire is the current situation?
  2. What are the key curricula or disciplines needed for big data workers?
  3. What skills are the hardest to find or develop: deep analytic expertise or strong business acumen?
  4. How is academia responding to this shortage of data scientists? 
  5. How can a data analyst develop stronger business and communication skills?
  6. What’s your advice for data analysts & statisticians who want to further develop data science skills?
  7. If orgs are looking to hire data scientists, what should they look for?
  8. How is technology helping bring “big data to all”?

Background Resources

IBM Institute for Business Value Study: “Analytics: A blueprint for value

Blog: What Skills are Essential for Big Data?

Blog: Right Skills, Right Place, Right Time: Educating the Next-Generation Big-Data Professional

Podcast: Data Scientists and Their Curriculum

Blog: Big Data Requires Strong Analytics Capabilities

Blog: Development and access to skills and capabilities

Blog: Hadoop and the big data opportunity