A recent report by Burning Glass Technologies, Business Higher Education Forum (BHEF) and IBM detailed the dramatic job market disruption caused by the exponential growth and democratization of data in The Quant Crunch: How the Demand for Data Science Skills is Disrupting the Job Market. Data democratization is the ability of everybody to access and understand data, and it is achieved by breaking down silos and providing access to data when and where it is needed (h/t innovation enterprise).
Companies are hungry to turn their mountains of data into intelligence that can drive better decisions and deliver a better customer experience, but they need workers with a range of data and analytical skills. According to The Quant Crunch, there will be 2.7 million open positions for data and analytics talent in the U.S. by 2020. Advanced analytics jobs such as data scientists will be just 2% of that total. The rest will be for talent across the spectrum of analytical rigor.
Many of the data-driven jobs require domain-specific expertise as well (e.g., marketing). This hybridization of jobs further aggravates an already tight labor market as both data analytic skills and domain expertise can each take years to develop.
The report’s recommendations for addressing the quant crunch include a variety of education and training approaches, but one of the most interesting suggestions is the creation of open data labs that can act as community resources for learners, industry experts, academics, public agencies, etc. Massachusetts, with its wealth of academic and industry data experts, seems like a perfect location for such a lab.