May 17, 2020

Demand for big data professionals rises 78% ahead of GDPR deadline

Big Data
Data preparation
Jonathan Dyble
2 min
Big data
According to a new UK report from Experis, the demand for big data skills and expertise has risen dramatically in the past 12 months, up 78% between Q1...

According to a new UK report from Experis, the demand for big data skills and expertise has risen dramatically in the past 12 months, up 78% between Q1 2017 and Q1 2018, whilst contractor demand has grown 128% during the same time frame.

A large reason for this growth is not only the increasing skepticism surrounding cybercrime and the rising number of global attacks, but also the impending regulatory hurdles that will come with GDPR.

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“A number of regulatory hurdles this year – including the much talked about GDPR – coupled with the growing Internet of Things trend, are putting pressure on businesses to better manage, process, secure and leverage their data,” said Martin Ewings, Director of Specialist Markets, Experis UK & Ireland.

Experis reveals that the most in-demand roles include experience with AWS, Python, Hadoop, Spark, Cloudera, Java and a number of other data platforms.

Further, the report shows that big data professionals remain the most highly valued in terms of pay, ahead of those working within the cloud, IT security, mobile and web development specialisms.

“Candidates have seen the potential for high earnings in Big Data roles and are upskilling themselves with the qualifications they need to secure those lucrative positions,” said Ewings.

For more information, see the full Tech Cities Job Watch Q1 2018: Big data report from Experis.

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Jun 16, 2021

SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data

British Army
3 min
Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM, explains the important role that SAS is playing in the British Army’s digital transformation

SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation. 

“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.

In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”

Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.

Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”

SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”

With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.

“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”

Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.

“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”


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