Addressing the Big Data and Data Science Skills Gap at ICT2015

The session at ICT2015, Lisbon, was well attended with many attendees coming from industry and academia aiming to address this issue. Firstly, Gabriella Catteneo presented the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) results following a series of data collection methods.

Gabriella stated that the data market spans an estimated 5 billion euros across the EU, 10% of the total ICT market, with 2.7billion of the data market being targeted specifically in the use and application of Big Data. Moreover, within the span of data professions, 40% are professionals within the space and 23% were managers out of a total of 6 million data workers across the EU. It was stated that there an estimated 0.5 million unfilled data worker roles constituting a 7.5% of the total demand for ICT professionals across the EU, and a 25% gap between demand and supply.

Oscar Corcho from Localidata stated that data scientists must be “pi-shaped” being able toICT2015 possess domain expertise as well as typical maths, statistics and computational skills and knowledge. He also
added that there are significant skills required in business transformation, data science, and big data technologies. Acknowledging this, Oscar mentions that there are courses available in this area for many data workers to learn new skills and confront this demand.

Elena Simperl introduces the EDSA project, initiating the talk with a statement about the conduction of teaching in data science, stating that it is both difficult to contain and to teach. This may due to the sheer variety of knowledge and expertise that is required of such data scientists. Elena adds that the EDSA aims to establish a community of practitioners, educators, training companies, leaners and policy makers, aiming to confront the data science skills gap noted by Gabriella in the first presentation. Elena finalises her talk by noting the courses and material that will be produced by the EDSAs respective partners that are dedicated to address this gap in data workers.