Retrained staff 'key to exploiting big data'

Skills shortages, particularly in the area of analytics, are hurting the ability of firms to exploit technological opportunities.

Two-thirds of large organisations and businesses surveyed say they want to hire more analytics staff over the next 12 months, but can’t find skilled staff, according to a new report by the Analytics Institute, EY and UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School.

It found 79pc of companies in Ireland cited difficulty in recruiting both deep and management level analytics talent.

The National Analytics Maturity Study focused primarily on Ireland’s top 100 organisations.

Staff shortages coupled with rising salary expectations are a growing challenge, it found.

Partner and EY Head of Data Analytics, Eoin O’Reilly, said retraining existing staff is one solution.

“We need to ensure a solid pipeline of talent across the Stem spectrum to address the current deficit, and businesses’ leaders must focus now on future-proofing their existing workforce through training and development.

ICON Professor of Business Analytics at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, Michael O’Neil, said that cultural and organisational factors will need to improve for the power of analytics to be maximised.

“It’s important that analytics and emerging technologies aren’t seen as a ‘tech issue’. Businesses should focus on training people from all sides of the organisation to optimise the opportunity that data presents for business and operational success in the future.”

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