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C-suite executives look beyond IT for big data recruits

Skill shortages are forcing companies to look elsewhere when it comes to big data analytics with over half of firms having to look beyond IT to fill positions on big data teams.

A Teradata survey of 300 senior C-suite executives in UK, France and Germany found that 61 per cent of UK companies have to fill big data analytics with members of staff that don’t necessarily have IT as a preferred career, and 42 per cent of CEOs are pressurising companies for big data hires.

“Not so long ago, many companies saw big data analytics mainly as an IT project meeting IT goals,” says Duncan Ross, Director Data Sciences, Teradata International. “This survey confirms a growing understanding that harnessing big data analytics effectively can bring company-wide benefits. However, to deliver on these new analytics opportunities companies need to identify and recruit the right staff.”

The skills gap is laid bare by the fact that 58 per cent of companies struggle to find candidates with a suitable skill set and 62 per cent of companies agree that there is a shortage of skills in the data science area as well as in big data analytics.

42 per cent of companies are actively trying to recruit data scientists, analysts and other specialists and of those companies, 36 per cent emphasise the commercial potential of big data analytics in achieving strategic goals.

When it comes to having a big data strategy 44 per cent of European companies have one in place with 47 per cent of those firms already running big data analytics projects or planning to do so within the next two years.

“Companies are very clear on what they need in order to make the most of the opportunities big data analytics offers them, with only a tiny minority still struggling to define what they are looking for,” says Ross.

Big data has been emerging at boardroom level for some time and in the UK 23 per cent working on big data analytics projects will report directly to the board of directors with 63 per cent of employees reporting to a department other than the IT department.