The use of data analytics is becoming increasing prevalent, greater collaboration between industry and academia will close the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills gap and low cost hardware will continue to accelerate learning. Those are the findings of research undertaken at MATLAB EXPO 2015, an event organised by MathWorks, the leading developer of mathematical computing software for engineers and scientists.
Some 550 academics, technical managers, engineers and scientists attended the day-long conference with 102 taking part in the survey. The event, held at Silverstone Circuit, allowed attendees to learn about the new and the improved capabilities in MATLAB and Simulink from MathWorks experts. They also discovered how leading companies use the software to advance their design and development processes.
More than two thirds of those surveyed (68 per cent) believe that the availability of to perform custom analytics throughout their organisation has become more important in the last two years, with 71 per cent saying that it is engineering staff (as opposed to specialised data scientists) who are performing data analytics tasks.
The majority of respondents (78 per cent) agreed that there was a gender and diversity gap in the study of STEM subjects, and 95 per cent identified that the STEM skills gap could be reduced through greater collaboration between academia, the government and industry. Some 91 per cent also believed that universities should collaborate with industry to better tailor the curriculum and prepare students for possible future careers in STEM.
When considering the academic use of low cost hardware (e.g. Raspberry Pi, Arduino and LEGO Mindstorm), more than three quarters (77 per cent) of those surveyed believe that it is very valuable in helping student to develop practical skills.
“Organisations are increasingly keen on implementation of systems facilitating data-driven decision making, and yet there is a recognised shortage of data scientists, who have skills to transform raw data in insights useful for business,” said Marta Wilczkowiak, senior application engineer at MathWorks.