With the explosion of information pouring into companies’ servers and data warehouses in recent years, the enormous power that big data holds is unquestionable among executives. Studies indicate that even though 97% of business leaders use data analytics, only 19% are very satisfied with the insights they deliver. While several factors may contribute to this dissatisfaction, none are as profound as the talent problem plaguing the tech industry.
While finding the perfect IT candidate is difficult in general, when it comes to big data specialists the talent shortage is even more pronounced. In order to solve the big data talent shortage, organizations must first ask themselves four important questions.
What Is Causing My Big Data Talent Problem?
When considering the source of the talent problem, too many organizations focus on the external. Demand (and subsequently, competition) is extremely high. The supply of tech talent in the data analytics specialty are few and far in between. In fact, by next year the U.S. is expected to have a shortage of 190,000 people with deep analytical skills. Even in the rare event of actually finding a fully qualified candidate, they may be happily employed elsewhere.
An internal analysis can uncover deeper insight. How do your recruiting efforts and culture look to a prospective employee? When it comes to looking for a new job, 69% of IT professionals say they are seeking a new job in order to advance their IT skills. Does your open big data role have room for career growth? Outside of the role itself, are you fostering an attractive environment with work-life balance and robust benefits? Alleviating the big data talent shortage begins with making sure your organization is not waving any red flags to job seekers.
Can I Secure My Big Data?
Your business likely collects a tremendous amount of data each day, even if you’re not actively trying to. While vast amounts of raw data can be powerful, they also come with a large responsibility to safeguard that information. Even if you’re able to hire a brilliant big data expert, are you prepared to take necessary security measures?
Housing raw data in general brings with it a security risk, but once that data is turned into easy-to-read and identifiable insight it also becomes an easier target for cybercriminals. 51% of executives cite security concerns as the biggest obstacle preventing them from implementing a big data strategy. Working with sensitive data may require additional security programs, measures, and staff, especially when consumer information is involved.
How Will I Use Big Data?
It sounds like a foundational question, but too frequently it’s one that does not get asked. Having realistic expectations about the capabilities of your data is a necessary step before this talent problem can be solved. How is your industry using the information it collects? What insights are your competitors gleaning from their data analysis? Being unsure does not instill much confidence into any Data Analyst candidate you interview, and can cast your business in a negative light.
The low supply of data professionals is not just a tech industry problem. Organizations in every sector including finance, healthcare, and everything in between have a need for data experts, amplifying the talent shortage further. The world’s largest manager of flight bookings for major airlines has over 40 Data Scientists on their payroll. With so much added competition from companies with established data analysis strategies, it’s hard to poach expert talent without first having a clear plan and specific goals for that worker.
Have I Asked for Help?
Even the best prepared management has trouble hiring in big data. In addition to the difficulty in locating great talent and the further trouble in actually recruiting them, traditional methods of solving a tech talent shortage are less effective. When an organization is trying to ramp up their data analysis efforts for the first time, they simply don’t have the option of hiring a candidate that is only 80% qualified and training them the rest of the way.
That’s where outsourcing to a proven IT staffing solutions firm can help the most. Often the most cost-effective way to hire for a specialized role such as in big data, it also can drastically cut down the time it takes to implement your new data analysis strategy. Having someone else take over doesn’t just ease the burden on your shoulders, but allows you to focus on your core business as someone works to deliver the right talent that you need.
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