Survey highlights data scientists shortage

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The search for meaningful data insights has highlighted the shortage of specialised data science skills within the financial services industry.

This is the finding from a survey conducted by SIX, the Swiss financial services group.

The research found that the canvassed firms ranked data management and data analytics as their two most important initiatives currently. Consequently, almost all firms (90%) expect their data consumption to increase over the next 12 months. 

Furthermore, the majority (52%) have ranked the ability to gather meaningful insight from their data as a strategic priority.

Yet despite these findings, only 41% of firms anticipate the need to recruit more data scientists in 2021. According to SIX, its survey highlights an important discrepancy in how firms approach data management and analytics with less importance placed on matching the necessary skills with the need to better analyse data. 

“This points to a contradiction, as financial institutions need to improve their data science capabilities in order to derive useful insights from a much larger pool of data,” said Sam Sundera, head of future buisness financial information at SIX. 

“The need for sophisticated data science individuals or teams is especially necessary when working with alternative data, which respondents indicate they plan to use more of in future. The key here is not just to have access to alternative data but to connect it to your securities of interest, your portfolio or your assets under management, which requires in-house or third party data specialists.”

The survey was conducted between the end of September and the beginning of November and involved 113 buy and sell-side firms.  

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