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Lack of data proficiency threatens £190bn global tech market

data proficiency

Data proficiency is vital to the growth and success of the tech market but a lack of training and qualification is holding companies back.

Data proficiency in areas such as AI is the catalyst for high-tech adoption and digital transformation but a lack of data literacy must be urgently addressed, according to new research by Decision Intelligence platform Peak.

Research reveals that demand for data scientists has increased by 231 per cent in the past five years but 50 per cent of workers received no training in data science despite this growing need.

The DI Maturity Index has taken a deep dive into the world of AI adoption amongst businesses of all sizes from across the world. Amongst the key findings are stark warnings for the UK tech market as it falls behind India and the US for data proficiency, maturity and literacy.

The global data science platform market size is expected to grow from $37.9 billion in 2019 to $230.80 billion by 2026 as businesses increasingly recognise the value of unlocking data to bring more certainty to decision-making. As such, demand and recognition for sophisticated tech such as AI platforms continues to grow, and in tandem so does the demand for skilled data scientists whose role is crucial to collating and connecting the necessary data to leverage and empower the decision intelligence process.

Despite this desperate need for data scientists and data proficiency half of all workers reported they had not received any data skills training within the last two years, despite considerable interest in the field.

According to LinkedIn hiring for data science roles increased by 46 per cent between 2019 and 2021 whilst demand for data scientists increased 231 per cent in the previous five years. 

Almost every industry has been affected, 83 per cent of decision makers agree there has been some level of digital transformation within their industry. Less than one in three report that transformation is limited only to remote working, suggesting that while it might have been initiated or sped up by the events of 2020, for many businesses the scope and benefits of digital transformation have moved well beyond the immediacy of changing working habits.

Around 41 per cent of decision makers recognize high levels of digital transformation within their industry, with processes routinely automated and new technology frequently introduced. This increases markedly in Professional Services (70 per cent), Transport (54 per cent) and Healthcare (53 per cent), all of which are well above the global average.

The US is behind India when it comes to perceptions of digital transformation and adoption of AI, but it is significantly advanced on the UK. Most (68 per cent) of US businesses are currently using AI in one form or another, this compares to 84 per cent) in India and just 46% in the UK. Respondents suggested appetite for digital transformation was high within their own business – with an average of eight projects attempted by organizations within the last five years, with a success rate of 75 per cent.

With increasing innovation comes the generation of more data and the need for data proficiency. Globally we’re projected to create, capture, copy and consume 97 zettabytes of data (each one equal to a trillion gigabytes) this year alone, a third more than 2020 and double that of 20191.

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