The 2.5 quintillion bytes of “Big Data” we produce every day is everywhere – in enterprises, SMBs, in the cloud, on desktops, on mobile phones, and more. It’s also in every industry and touches all layers of a business, from the C-suite to entry-level. And the growth of this data isn’t slowing down. IDC predicts total data volume will reach 35,000 exabytes in 2020, compared to 1,200 exabytes in 2010, representing a 29 fold increase in the next ten years. The key to business success is having the skills and ability to capture, sift through, and analyze these vast amounts of data, presenting an enormous opportunity for companies to improve customer relationships, provide better services and generate insight to drive new business opportunities.
The Big Data Skills Need
Companies worldwide are realizing the enormous potential translating big data can provide, but business and governments alike are grappling with the challenge of making sense of this data deluge to turn it into better business decisions. In fact, Forrester estimates firms effectively utilize less than 5 percent of available data – and miss 95 percent of data rich with insightful information – mainly due to the lack of training and skills necessary for the type of information gathering and analysis needed to transform this big data. .
Recognizing this need, companies and educational institutions are charging full-speed ahead in the effort to teach big data skills. Analytics and data-handling degree programs have popped up at colleges and university across the country, including Northwestern, Yale and Fordham, and even globally. Also, companies such as IBM are offering online training courses through their Academic Initiative, BigDataUniversity and developerWorks. These educational opportunities will provide students with the analytics skills needed for their upcoming careers, current employees with the opportunity to advance their skills, and everyone with the tools to become the new species of data handler primed to tackle the data obstacle.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 24 percent increase in demand for professionals with management analysis skills over the next 8 years. By garnering the big data skills today, businesses will have the skilled employees they need to make better business decisions for the future.