Learn About the McKinsey Data Science Update on A2 Radio

How many times have you heard this quoted or paraphrased (usually inaccurately) in the past six years?
    By 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.

Of course, it's from the breakthrough report on data science, published by McKinsey Global Institute back in 2011. But it's just one sentence out of a 156-page paper, one sentence that has been used to support the marketing claims of hundreds of organizations, some of which have only minimal ties to data science.

Talk about soundbite marketing!

[Join All Analytics Radio on Thursday at 1 pm Eastern when McKinsey Global Institute's Michael Chui shares insights from MGI's update on its famed 2011 data science report. Sign up now for tomorrow's program.]

Most of those citations missed the rest of the key points in the report, particularly about the potential opportunities that data science and analytics were going to present to enterprises in the coming years. Hey, we're in those years now. In fact, that 2018 doomsday for data science talent is less than 12 months away. Make sure the underground bunker where you keep your data scientists safe from poaching competitors is well stocked with sugary foods and energy drinks.

Michael Chui
Michael Chui

McKinsey is back with an update to that 2011 report and, like the original, this one looks at the state of analytics and future of data science in many ways beyond the talent crunch. In The Age of Analytics: Competing in a Data-Driven World McKinsey consultants explore the opportunities and challenges facing enterprises as they expand their reliance on data science, analytics, and big data.

For example, the authors highlight how enterprises have embraced data strategies but have left potential value sitting untapped. Among the reasons is a failure to adapt organizations and business processes to make the most of what data can do for them. They have the data available to them, but they don't put said data to work.

When the data sits underutilized, corporate finger pointing ensues. Business leaders blame the data science team. The data science team blames the business unit. Management concludes that data science is a fraud. In reality, everyone has to think about how data needs to flow through an organization, who gets what type of report, what types of problems data can solve, who needs to get alerts when an application highlights an issue, and maybe who backs up that person when they are out of the office.

Sorry, I've done it again, taking one small element or finding out of a 100-plus page report. Want to know what else McKinsey Global Institute has to say about the state and future of data science? Join us tomorrow, Thursday, at 1 pm Eastern time when one of the report authors, Michael Chui, joins A2 Radio to highlight some of the key steps your organization can take to drive success with data science.

Register here.

James M. Connolly, Editor of All Analytics

Jim Connolly is a versatile and experienced technology journalist who has reported on IT trends for more than two decades. As editor of All Analytics he writes about the move to big data analytics and data-driven decision making. Over the years he has covered enterprise computing, the PC revolution, client/server, the evolution of the Internet, the rise of web-based business, and IT management. He has covered breaking industry news and has led teams focused on product reviews and technology trends. Throughout his tech journalism career, he has concentrated on serving the information needs of IT decision-makers in large organizations and has worked with those managers to help them learn from their peers and share their experiences in implementing leading-edge technologies through publications including Computerworld. Jim also has helped to launch a technology-focused startup, as one of the founding editors at TechTarget, and has served as editor of an established news organization focused on technology startups and the Boston-area venture capital sector at MassHighTech. A former crime reporter for the Boston Herald, he majored in journalism at Northeastern University.

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Re: Trusting data
  • 1/24/2017 9:32:23 AM

It might be interesting after announcements of so many thousands of shortages in particular fields to take a look at expected gluts of employees in other lines of work and promote training and switching to the employment area where there's expetected to be a shortage. Uber drivers being replaced by self driving vehicles to train to being data scientists anyone?

Very friendly reminder
  • 1/23/2017 10:17:33 AM

This is a very friendly reminder.  I can't listen to radio show due to hearing issues.  I only can guess what topics would be covered.

Trusting data
  • 1/20/2017 10:03:50 AM

I'm not surprised by the non-technical/organizational psychology challenges to data science in most companies. I also don't expect this issue to go away anytime soon.

Did Chui address the data scientist shortage at all on A2 Radio? Would be curious to hear how much that perspective has shifted in the space of 6 years.

  • 1/19/2017 11:36:51 AM

Looking forward to the show.