80% of UK businesses to hire a data scientist in 2019

21st September 2018


Survey of company leaders shows vast majority are planning to hire a data scientist as economic uncertainty continues.

The role of the data scientist is on the rise as companies increasingly turn to data to steer them through unpredictable times, MHR Analytics research has revealed.

80 percent of UK companies are planning to hire a data scientist or seek data consultancy next year, according to the Data Surge Report, which surveyed 200 company leaders.

The news comes following a separate announcement that 47 percent of UK company leaders feel their workforce lacks the digital skills necessary to compete in the next decade.

Of the businesses surveyed by MHR Analytics, one third (34 percent) said they would definitely be hiring a data scientist or specialist, with 45 percent saying they were considering such a move. Only 22 percent ruled out extra investment in big data expertise completely.

However, many of the organisations polled failed to recognise that successful data management can reduce operational overheads, with only four per cent citing reduced administration as a benefit. Instead, 25 percent cited more accurate decision-making and 20 percent said better understanding of business information was a key outcome.

Nick Felton, MHR Analytics senior vice president comments: “It’s now clear that 2019 will be the year of the data surge, with eight in 10 companies seeking specialist skills and expertise to help navigate potentially uncertain market conditions.

“Many organisations have now switched onto the fact that data analytics improves forecasting and enables more accurate decision-making. Data scientists are increasingly being relied on to give the clear picture when it comes to strategic business planning.”

“What’s striking in our research though, is that so many organisations are overlooking the potential for cost savings associated with a smarter data strategy, which can help reduce costs and admin.”

“A good data strategy can improve efficiency across the whole of the organisation. IT can provide unrivalled visibility into real time business information and help identify future opportunities as well as potential risks to profitability.”

A third (34 percent) of the companies polled by MHR Analytics said they have considered a data strategy, which is in the further stages of implementation. 30 percent said they regularly conduct big data projects and only seven percent say there have been no talks regarding a data strategy.

More than half (51 percent) said their organisation’s response to the challenge of big data had been good, with 21 percent saying it had been very good.

The Data Surge Report and survey was conducted by independent polling company Censuswide.

MHR Analytics

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Media contact: During office hours (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) all media enquiries should be directed to Jo Travis, PR Specialist via pr@mhr.co.uk, tel: 0115 945 7114 or 07769 958545, or Liz Close, PR Specialist, via pr@mhranalytics.co.uk, tel 0115 945 7120 or 07879 110 594.

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