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IT managers highlight skills deficits

Monday, March 03 12:35:43

Some 61pc of IT managers said that the biggest inhibitor to data analytics uptake at their company is a lack of relevant skills, according to an EMC-sponsored survey of 150 Irish businesses by the Sunday Business Post.

The findings come as 'Big Data' is rapidly becoming a corner stone of modern IT as the "internet of things" continues to create vast amounts of information from sources as varied as sensors on machinery, social media, and even internet-connected home appliances, according to Jason Ward, Director for Ireland, Scotland and UK North at EMC, the US multinational that employs over 3,000 people in Ireland.

Telemetry devices, smartphones, social networks and other connected devices, including PCs and laptops, allow billions of people around the world to generate huge amounts of information.

With new advances in technology, organizations can now correlate this information to uncover trends of consumer behaviour which can be used to develop strategic business and public policy insights.

"Big Data can bring myriad benefits to companies, but to fully assess the impact of it on a company's operations, a business needs to have a team with the necessary skills to properly correlate and analyse information for business value," said Mr Ward.

"Businesses in Ireland are keen to adopt big data strategies but as the true potential of Big Data has only recently been realised, there's a shortage of people with the necessary skills to support the implementation of these projects. We're urging Irish graduates to embark on course tracks that expose them to skills associated with data analytics to avail of jobs that new disruptive technologies will create over the coming years, particularly in the area of data science," said Mr Ward.

Increasingly, industry leaders are working with third-level institutions to ensure we are continually developing this essential skill base in Ireland.

Early in 2013, together with SAS, EMC launched a Master's degree and diploma in Data Business, run jointly by UCC and the Irish Management Institute. In 2011, EMC partnered with CIT to develop the world's first Master's and Bachelor's programmes in cloud computing.

"Irish tech firms, industry leaders and government need to work together to design programmes that meet the needs of industry," said Mr Ward.