In the past five years there have been over 35,000 advertised vacancies for big data staff in the UK, the report said - with data scientists, who are often recognised as playing a key role in big data analytics, a relatively niche occupation, accounting for only a "very small proportion" of overall demand in the area.
The key technical skills demanded from candidates included noSQL and Hadoop, with an associated demand increase in growth of 295 per cent and 210 per cent in these technologies occurring over 2012.
But while the premiums are high and the opportunities are vast, the research also found that a common concern for employers was to find and attract the right talent, and this is the reason that SAS claims it is launching the academy.
"We are experiencing serious skills shortages," said Mark Wilkinson, managing director of SAS UK&I.
"The SAS Student Academy is designed not only to equip students with the big data analytics skills that are so desperately required, but in so doing to help UK businesses take advantage of the innovation and efficiency big data can deliver. Unless we act now, the UK risks falling behind countries like China and India where investment in these skills is on the rise," he added.
According to a Centre of Economics and Business Research (CEBR) report released earlier in the year, big data analytics is set to add £216bn to the UK economy from 2012 to 2017, and create 58,000 new jobs. BCU's Allan was quick to note the different uses of big data across all industries.
"There is enormous breadth and scale of big data analytics with roles in government, supermarkets, consumer orientated companies and there is even a need in universities," he said.