Nearly two thirds (63%) of IT professionals believe businesses need to recruit more data scientists, with nine in ten claiming that half of companies are not effectively harnessing the data they have available.
The latest findings, from a survey of nearly 300 industry professionals by specialist IT job board CWJobs.co.uk, revealed that despite the importance of data to the modern business, almost two thirds of IT pros (65%) think the majority of businesses still do not recognise the significant contribution data scientists can make to their organisation.
Some 70% of people working in IT don't think there are enough higher education options focused on data science, and a majority (72%) think the government isn't doing enough to meet the UK's mission to be 'a world leader in big data'.
Despite this, a third of IT jobseekers say there are more opportunities than a year ago, with the fastest growing sectors thought to be financial services (31%), retail (18%) and manufacturing (18%). In recognition of this, almost half of those surveyed (46%) said they would be willing to invest their own time or money to acquire the necessary skills.
Mike Black, sales director at CWJobs, explains: "Data science presents huge opportunities for businesses to better understand their company, customers and products. Those that don't adequately prepare for the future, and fail to recruit the right expertise, will miss out.
Data is already transforming businesses, but we've only seen a glimpse of its potential. Marketing teams are increasingly bypassing their IT department and hiring data specialists directly; what's absolutely critical here is hiring data analysts that have the ability to cogently explain their findings, and how they arrived at them. To make the most of the masses of data at their fingertips, businesses should be looking to recruit someone who not only excels technically, but also is an effective communicator."
CWJobs.co.uk surveyed 288 IT professionals from its own database during April 2014.