Data Scientist Shortage Supports Need for Self-Service BI

Desktop with Izenda DashboardA soaring demand for data scientists puts more pressure on the analytics labor pool just as companies increase the amount of data they need to sift through. The shortfall of skilled workers will be so great that businesses need to find other solutions. For the small and mid-sized businesses, a team of data scientists – or even a single analytics specialist – might never be considered or fit in its budget.

Businesses, particularly SMBs, can find a solution to the shortage by presenting data to employees in a manner that allows them to make the daily business decisions that are necessary at any company. Self-service business intelligence can put the necessary data right in the hands of these employees.

The MIT Sloan Management research report, “The Talent Dividend,” states: “Analytics talent is driving competitive advantage in data-oriented companies.”

The McKinsey Global Institute’s projections support that analysis, forecasting a shortage of up to 190,000 workers with analytics expertise by 2018 on top of another 1.5 million managers and analysts with the skills to use big data techniques to make business decisions.

How do you fill these gaps?

You certainly don’t want to turn loose all of your employees with their own plans. Relying on each employee to create individual “BI” reports through Excel spreadsheets for the business analytics for your company won’t solve your problems. The data from these spreadsheets rarely gets shared, and you can’t count on its accuracy.

“It’s a waste of time and money and makes data analysis available only on one person’s desktop,” said Leanne Bateman, Brandeis University’s academic program chair for program management and strategic analytics. “It’s a systems issue and in many cases an access issue.”

The key to eliminating these disparate collections of data is fairly obvious, according to Bateman. Workers need access to data and tools that are usable. Strategies need to be created to share analytic reports throughout the organization.

“Smart data discovery has the potential to expand access to sophisticated interactive analysis and insights to business consumers and nontraditional BI users — the approximately 70 percent of users in organizations that currently do not use BI tools or have statistical backgrounds,” said Rita Sallam, research vice president at Gartner.

These new approaches will create the potential to transform which users can derive insights from data discovery tools. Sallam said the business benefit will make smart data discovery a standard features of most data discovery platforms.

This likely will speed the growth of the citizen data scientist, making “new sources of information accessible, consumable and meaningful to organizations of all sizes, even ones that don’t have extensive advanced analytics skills or in-house resources.

Gartner reported in its Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms earlier this year that by 2017, the majority of business users and analysts will have access to self-service tools to prepare data for analysis.

Self-service BI Can Help

Self-service embedded business intelligence is the solution available now to companies needing access to data for analysis, and is being sought by many organizations.

Izenda is an integration-ready web application that allows organizations with on-premise, cloud, SaaS, and enterprise applications to deliver modern self-service reports, dashboards, and visualizations.

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