May 17, 2020

PwC report forecasts 2.7m new data science and analytic jobs will be created by 2020

Callum Rivett
2 min
Data analysis
Data science is a booming field of work and one of the fastest growing globally, but this extraordinary growth is creating unprecedenteddemand that has...

Data science is a booming field of work and one of the fastest growing globally, but this extraordinary growth is creating unprecedented demand that has yet to be fulfilled. A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has determined that over the next three years, there will be an additional 2.7m new jobs created in data science and analytics.

The need for an increase in data education is clear - McKinsley Inc. has predicted that there is currently a field-wide shortfall of around 40-60%, whilst the US data science industry will require an extra 190,000 employees alone by the end of 2018. 

According to a 2015 MIT Sloan Management Review, around 40% of the companies who responded said that they were struggling to fill data analysis roles, whilst Deloitte's Analytics Trends Report noted that whilst there is a rising number of data-driven university courses, there are not enough to quell the shortage.

Analytics leader SAS is using its Global Academics Programs to deliver world-class data analytical skills to over 4,000 universities in an attempt to fill the void - a recent partnership with American University of Science & Technology has yielded a new post-graduate diploma in Data Science.

AUST is also working on promoting business mathematics in South Africa with an Analytics in Business post-graduate program that they hope will help to 'breed the best future data scientists in the market.'

Senior Manager of Global Academic Programs at SAS, Murray de Villiers, said: "Academia and industry must work together to develop courses that adequately prepare students for ‘real-world work’."

"This then should help to address the globalized, technology-driven business landscape that we now see in our rapid-paced world."

Riad Sakr, Vice President at AUST, said that he believes that Business Analytics and Data Science 'are not just passing fads.'

"It is clear that these new fields are long-lasting and valuable. Analytics are the skills, technologies, and practices that drive decision-making, and are vital for deriving maximum business value from organizational investments."

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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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