How Has The Short Supply of Data Analysts Impacted The Industry?

Elise Myhren our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 12/12/2019 9:27 AM
Is Data the world’s most valuable asset? Every business has it, most use it, and the best transform their businesses with it. It’s unsurprising, then, that there is now an enormous demand for Data Scientists, Data Engineers, and all forms of Analysts. Whilst many enterprises are now beginning to see the benefit of internal Data education, progress in upskilling remains slow. But how is this impacting the industry? 

Education, Education, Education


For starters, with the evolution of Data, we have also seen an evolution in education. Universities have long been our source for acquiring knowledge, skills, values and beliefs. As such, they continuously reinvent the way they educate, modernising and adapting to the present day. So, it will come as no surprise that we are seeing more and more Data focused programmes and degrees in top universities around the world, including in the Nordics. 

This is a great way of organically growing Data talent and supplying businesses with freshly educated minds, and should, in the long term, help conquer the short supply of talent available. As there is little to no sign that Data will become irrelevant anytime soon, providing an education in this area makes sense. And, with so many training and educational opportunities now available, businesses looking to upskill their employees have the option to externally fund their development.

A Fountain of Youth


Another highly visible effect of this talent shortage, and something unique to the Data & Analytics industry, is a lack of experienced leaders. Whilst there definitely are great leaders within this space, all with plenty of knowledge, the young make-up of the market means that their experience is often limited. Having reported on the state of the industry in our Diversity Report, Harnham found that over 60% of the Data & Analytics community is aged between 25 and 34, with 35% aged between 35 and 44.

In other words, those leading the industry are young, or at least younger than in many more established industries. There are some obvious reasons for this, as Data is a relatively new field, and its importance to businesses has only emerged somewhat recently. Of course, having young leadership does not imply ignorance or inadequacy, but simply highlights how young the industry is, and how those leading may still have plenty of room to develop. 

Fast-Paced Progression


Going hand-in hand with young management is, unsurprisingly, an industry that offers fast progression. From the moment you step out into the wild world of Data & Analytics, there are numerous opportunities to progress quickly into specialist and management roles. However, this has stabilised somewhat recently. 

Our 2019 Salary Guide uncovered that it now typically takes 10 to 12 years to reach a Director/Head of position. Obviously these numbers are an average, with those in Digital Analytics progressing significantly faster than those in Risk Analytics, alongside natural variations depending on the sector and size of individual businesses. 

What remains apparent is, with such a high demand for talent that’s in short supply, it is crucial that businesses can both recruit and retain the best individuals out there. By keeping the above in mind, and ensuring that education, progression and leadership opportunities are on each employee’s career path, enterprises stand a better chance of getting hold of, and keeping, the best people in the industry. 

If you’re looking to get hold of the best employees in a talent-short market, or are looking to take the next step in your career, Harnham can help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

Related blog & news

With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.

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