Critical Skills: A focus on Big Data/ Analytics Talent Shortfall

The Problem


Once again the evolution and the promise of technologies has created the need for skills and talents crucial to a company’s well being. Big Data is a new term that combines data, process, analytical tools and skills to enable an organization to more precisely navigate the challenges relating to increasing competition, risk identification and management, customer relations, forecasting, cost control, and many other aspects of their business.


In fact, the threat that an organization faces for failing to execute on an adequate Big Data strategy may not only be unacceptably poor performance, but survival. One of the requirements of execution is a properly skilled staff to perform the complex data analysis, business analysis and the data acquisition and change functions, which are necessary for the successful manufacture of business insights for competitive advantage.


Gartner Says Big Data Creates Big Jobs: 4.4 Million IT Jobs Globally to Support Big Data By 2015. (Analysts Discuss Key Issues Facing the IT Industry during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2012, October 21-25, in Orlando)


“By 2015, 4.4 million IT jobs globally will be created to support big data, generating 1.9 million IT jobs in the United States,” said Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of Research. “In addition, every big data-related role in the U.S. will create employment for three people outside of IT, so over the next four years a total of 6 million jobs in the U.S. will be generated by the information economy.“

“But there is a challenge. There is not enough talent in the industry. Our public and private education systems are failing us. Therefore, only one-third of the IT jobs will be filled. Data experts will be a scarce, valuable commodity,” Mr. Sondergaard said. “IT leaders will need immediate focus on how their organization develops and attracts the skills required. These jobs will be needed to grow your business. These jobs are the future of the new information economy.”

The demand for this talent far outweighs the supply — we need to fill the gaps quickly. The skills are broader and deeper than traditional business intelligence with the range of required talent extending from deep technical capabilities to deep business analysis and decision-making.

The Approach

More than 20 organizations in the Charlotte region met April 16, 2015 to share their experiences and discuss potential solutions to this critical shortfall.


A list of questions/challenges were discussed including:


1. What is your company’s approach for finding and/or re-skilling employees to fill the gaps?

2. Are you having trouble finding all of the skills you need or are spending more on outside consulting than you want?
3. Have you considered a broader and/or better approach to solving the problem?

4. Would you like to distribute the cost of training these specific skills across a wider group?


Planning approaches to potential solutions is underway. Collaboration between business, education, and economic development in response to the IT talent challenge is the core mission of IT-oLogy. Let’s close this skills gap together and continue to build Charlotte as Big Data hub. For more information, contact [email protected].

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