In this blog, we look at the rise of the data scientist role and the challenges businesses face when recruiting data specialists with the skills to propel their business forward.

The race to recruit employees with high levels of technical proficiency shows no sign of slowing. Unfortunately for many businesses, the current digital skills crisis means that finding candidates that fit this criteria is often a near impossible task. The conundrum for companies isn’t just around how to find these prospective employees, but how to identify and prioritise key areas of digital expertise during the hiring process.

Current statistics show the problem to be widespread, with clear failings in education and in industry to take affirmative action to remedy the issue. Government figures show that 12.6 million adults in the UK lack basic digital skills, even though 9 in 10 new roles require some level of technical skills.

These facts are particularly troubling given the urgent need for organisations to capture, store and analyse growing volumes of data to drive efficiencies, make savings and compete.

New software capabilities which make it possible to predict and visualise vital business information are now there for the taking. It’s the data expertise to utilise them that appears to be in short supply.

These were the issues we set out to explore in our recently published Data Surge report which analysed the opinions of 200 business leaders in large and medium sized organisations around IT spending and big data strategies for 2019.

Despite 93% of companies anticipating a drop in revenues next year, respondents told us that IT was earmarked for the biggest spending increases, with 59% planning to boost investment in this area.

What was most interesting about the research was that eight in 10 companies are also planning to hire a data scientist or specialist consultancy in 2019. Of those polled, 34% told us they would "definitely be hiring a data scientist or specialist," while 45% were considering it. Only 22% completely ruled this out.


Prioritising investment in this area of IT is both forward-thinking and essential, particularly with increasingly uncertain times ahead. Already, many companies are preparing for this by overhauling manual systems for critical functions such as forecasting and reporting, swapping spreadsheets for efficient business intelligence and analytics systems. Such steps can save hundreds of hours of manpower, as well as cutting down on administration and giving decision-makers accurate information on which to make vital choices about the company’s future.

With this in mind, companies need to ensure that when seeking to recruit employees with specialist expertise, that computer science and data scientist roles are a top priority. Doing so will help spread knowledge of high quality information management across the organisation and help create a more data-centric culture. In conjunction with this effort, every company should ensure that it has the right partner in place to implement and deliver analytics projects, enabling organisations to reap the benefits of an increasingly competitive digital economy.

For more information, download our Data Surge Report

Elizabeth Close

PR Specialist

Liz is a PR specialist at MHR Analytics


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