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December 5, 2011

EMC Study Points to Gaps in Data Science

Datanami Staff

Today EMC released the results from a study that focused on the challenges over 500 data scientists in the U.S., Europe and Asia have recognized as barriers.

The company echoes the often-cited sentiment that not only is there a dramatic shortfall in the number of trained data scientists, but that many companies are not taking advantage of the opportunities new streams of data present. EMC’s study claims that only one-third of companies are using new wells of data to add a competitive edge.

As noted, the study is based on the views of data scientists, a broad, if not rather fuzzy category which they say includes data analysts, data specialists, business intelligence analysts and data engineers who represent a large stake in the “IT decision-making” processes at their organizations.

The collective responses from this group indicate that aside from the general “what to do with all this data and who is well-trained enough to tackle it” questions, other issues are plaguing the realm of data science. For instance, there were a few hot button “technosocial” barriers to utilizing big data, including a lack of data accessibility. According to the report, “only 12 percent of business intelligence professionals and 22% of data scientists strongly believe employees have access to run experiments on data, undermining a company’s ability to rapidly test and validate ideas.”

The study overwhelmingly pointed to the talent shortfall in the industry. They noted that the need for advanced degrees, cutting edge training for the newest technologies, and higher level skills were the main problem. Accordingly, in a companion release today, EMC announced that it planned to do something about addressing this need with the creation of new certification programs for big data analytics (as well as cloud computing) professionals.

According to Howard Elias, President and COO for EMC’s Information Infrastructure and Cloud Services division provides a few more details about these education efforts below.

The certification efforts focus on three classifications of IT personnel, including cloud technologists, cloud architects and data scientists. The company says it provides more than 700 colleges and universities in 40 countries with access to these new additions via their Academic Alliance program.