Although data science is generating newopportunities, our capacity to train new datascientists is not keeping up, and nearly two-thirds of respondents foresee a loomingshortfall in the number of data scientists overthe next five years. This aligns with otherresearch, including a recent McKinsey GlobalInstitute study that predicts a shortage of190,000 data scientists by the year 2019
.And when our respondents were asked wherethe best source for talent was, few looked to
today’s business intelligence professional.
Instead, nearly two-
thirds looked for today’s
Who is the Data Scientist?
Although the term data science has been around for decades
indeed, most scientists use data ofsome form
the term data scientist in its current context is relatively new, frequently credited to DJPatil, who started the data science team at LinkedIn.
But as a new term, the field is still verymuch in flux, and without evidence about th
e practitioners, we’re left to speculate abuot what it
may mean. In our survey, we allowed users to self-
identify as “data science professionals,” in order
to avoid conflicts over terminology in job titles. I
n this section we’ll attempt to define the dat
ascientist by comparing them with the previousbig player in the analytics space, businessintelligence professionals.Twenty years ago, business intelligence wasitself a new term, just emerging to take over thevarious database management and decisionssupport functions within an organization. As thefield grew rapidly in the 90s, it also coalescedaround a smaller number of tools, moreconsistent expectations for talent, bettertraining, and more rigorous organizationalstandards. As our data demonstrates, datascientists are currently going through thattransition,It may be helpful to think of data science andbusiness intelligence as being on two ends of the same spectrum, with business intelligencefocused on managing and reporting existing business data in order to monitor or manage variousconcerns within the enterprise. In contrast, data science applies advanced analytical tools and
Studentsstudyingstudyingcomputerscience34%Studentsstudyingfields otherthancomputerscience24%Professionalsin disciplinesother than ITor computerscience27%Today's BIprofessionals12%Other3%
The best source of new Data Science talentis:
(Real Name Withheld) is a former intelligenceanalyst who dealt with massive data sets to inform him on the patterns of drug traffic across US borders and in and out of ports. His team and he were able to dramatically increasenumber of seizures by using statistical analyses to isolate easy to reach and difficult to patrol locations - with success drivenby the establishment of new off-shore monitoring protocols.Coupled with the use of Open Source Intelligence (monitoring data from Twitter, Wikipedia updates, etc) used by IARPA - theIntelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity
which seeks to identify events before they occur, based on tracking sentiment
we can see Government Agencies increasingly utilizing big data to both inform and guide their strategic andtactical decision making processes.