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Data science is behind many of today’s most exciting innovations, like self-driving cars, advanced robotics, and virtual and augmented reality. To stay ahead of the competition, you need to be continuously investing in data-driven technologies and hiring the best data scientists to provide you with actionable insights. 

But how do you do that when every other company is fighting to do the same thing? Read on to find out.

The growth of data science roles

Data science investment was growing even before COVID, and the pandemic has accelerated it further, with 40% of companies now expecting to increase machine learning. This has driven a 650% increase in data science roles since 2012, and supply hasn’t grown to meet this demand, meaning there’s a worsening talent drought in the sector.

In the UK, most employers recruiting data scientists are in England (91%), with 8% in Scotland and 2% in Wales. 55% of roles are based in London, with other major cities like Cambridge, Edinburgh and Manchester next. Regionally, just 5% of roles are in the North West, 5% in the South West, 6% in the South East, 8% in Scotland and 12% in Eastern England.

Why the surge in demand?

One reason for this talent drought is that more companies are seeing the value of big data to support more informed business decisions. The number of data science teams grew by 260% between 2018 and 2020, according to Refinitiv. Smaller businesses are building specific data functions to stay ahead of the competition, and many organisations are changing their strategic approach to be more data-led so they can engage with customers in a more targeted way.

Why hire data scientists?

Data scientists can use algorithms and machine learning to crunch data and extract valuable insights that will enable them to make informed predictions and decisions on everything from customer engagement and business strategy. A TechRepublic survey shows that using data scientists can bring you significant competitive advantages, enabling you to maximise opportunities and mitigate risks. Survey respondents said data science and analytics were major contributors to their success; 79% confirmed that their organisation used analytics.

Candidates’ preferences

Most data scientists prefer to work somewhere where they can collaborate with a wider data team. They also want to understand how their role fits into that team and into the organisation as a whole, and to see the impact of their work clearly. According to recent data, many job seekers would be happy to relocate for the right role, showing that company fit is a major consideration for data scientists.

If you’d like to discover more about how to attract and retain the best data science talent for your company, get in touch with us for an expert perspective on the market as a whole and on how best to meet your individual needs.

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