There is a shortage of big data modellers as well as data scientists, according to the senior vice president of IT research firm Infosys Labs, Subu Goparaju.
Infosys Labs is the research arm of IT business consulting firm Infosys, headquartered in India.
Goparaju told Computing that there was a sharp increase in the amount of businesses using data analytics and this has led to a big demand for specialists in the area.
"There is a shortage across most of the world because leveraging data for prediction is becoming a very big thing and people want to use it to ‘prevent maintenance'. In other words, instead of responding to something in a reactive manner after a problem has occurred, more and more people are looking at how they can study data and predict what may go wrong and how it can prevent this from happening," he said.
Goparaju gave the examples of predicting when a tyre may burst or when someone could suffer a heart attack.
"There is a big shortage of people who can build models and of people who can use the models to predict things and prevent things from happening," he explained.
Goparaju revealed that Infosys Labs itself would like to hire more people with big data skills.
"We do not have as many data scientists as we need. However, we have programmes to accelerate that skill development because we cannot wait for these people to come from the engineering or computing schools, so we have ways of creating these people with our partners and internally," Goparaju said.
In April last year, Ovum analyst Mike David told Computing that end-user organisations must start to build up their own analytics capabilities otherwise they will increasingly face having to pay firms like Infosys significant fees for big data services.
He said most data scientists are currently working for vendors not end-user organisations.
"These scientists are trained within universities, and it is incumbent on organisations that really want to exploit their data to start recruiting them. Otherwise, those data scientists will work within vendors and end-users will have to pay for their advice," he added.
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