Big data in big need of talent

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Everybody appears to be interested in big data, but few seem to be actively pursuing actual initiatives. One of the inhibitors is a concern about finding the right talent to get a good return on a big data investment, write Paul Barth and Randy Bean, managing partners of NewVantage Partners.

Businesses are looking for people who bring not only skills in data, analytics and computer science, but also the ability to communicate effectively with the business units and clearly articulate requirements, Barth and Bean write in a post at Harvard Business Review. It is "incredibly challenging" to find people with the right mix of talents, and companies are looking in a variety of sources, including academia, Silicon Valley, Wall Street and their own competitors. Many are also training existing employees, including analysts.

One of the problems many companies face is that they don't have much of a history of integrating analytics professionals into the business units. Even though these experts have been critical to marketing and finance departments, "all too often these same individuals have been relegated to the sidelines and not integrated into mainstream business processes," Barth and Bean write. "The result is that more than a few organizations cut back on their analytic talent when times got tough in 2008-2009."

For a big data project to succeed, companies have to find the right expertise and make sure it is assimilated into the business, using the most effective organizational structure and business processes.

For more:
- see Barth and Bean's post at Harvard Business Review

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