A Forward Thinking Approach to the Shortage of Data Scientists—One Step at a Time

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Digital disruption created by the development of big data, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics means companies have little choice but to transform themselves digitally. While Asia races to embrace these new opportunities and expectations, it is set to face a massive shortage of information and communications technology (ICT) professionals. A study by the Singapore Management University (SMU), in partnership with JP Morgan, has found that demand for ICT workers is expected to keep rising and the labour market is struggling to keep up. The Singapore Government projects that by next year, Singapore will require a further 15,000 workers in the areas of data analytics, cyber security and development, and network infrastructure.

Big data and advanced analytics are the products of data science. What keeps companies from putting them to effective use is an acute shortage of data scientists.

One forward-thinking approach to the shortage of data science talent is emerging. Companies are identifying line of business people—smart employees who are not specifically trained in math or statistics but do have insightful perspectives on the business problems for which they hope to apply big data solutions. They are grooming these individuals to develop and administer models based on predictive or prescriptive analytics, giving them wizards and templates developed for specific kinds of business analyses, and then interpret the results for the benefit of other line of business users.

These people are being developed into specialists whose expertise sits between that of the data scientists and the business users. We like to call them Citizen Data Scientists.

The emergence of citizen data scientists is part of a general democratization of data in large organizations. In order for the promise of the new analytics to be realized, these tools must be as broadly available as possible, both for individuals to draw from big data resources and to contribute to the pool.

In a period of scarcity of data science expertise, the evolution of the citizen data scientist role could be Asia’s best route to operationalizing predictive and prescriptive analytics.

We are taking multiple steps to address the data scientist shortage in Asia, starting with our recent partnership with Nanyang Polytechnic, one of the top tertiary institutions in Singapore. The partnership with NYP’s School of Business Management aims to develop data analytics capabilities in Singapore and promote digital transformation among local Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

TIBCO will provide students with the right data analytics skills, technology, and experience to excel in today’s evolving job landscape. Jointly conducted guest lectures, competitions, workshops, master classes, and other training programmes will promote the development and nurturing of data analytics skills for the younger generation.

TIBCO will also be equipping SMEs with the knowledge and skills to lay the foundation for their digital business through TIBCO Connected Intelligence. This includes hands-on workshops using TIBCO solutions, case studies, and events aimed to educate and empower SMEs to transform their data into action, to spot and seize opportunities, to differentiate and lead.

It is our mission to help enterprises gain competitive advantages through interconnecting everything with our complete integration platform and augmenting intelligence through our broad analytics platform. This partnership marks the start of our journey within APJ to develop greater data capabilities in Asia.

Singapore has recently come out tops among Asian countries for its ability to transform itself amid digital disruptions. The government’s drive to develop the first Smart Nation makes Singapore an exciting starting point to work with local companies as they embark on their digital journeys. We are looking forward to many more activities within the region that will help Asian businesses integrate their people, data, and systems and better manage and understand their business to make decisions in real time.

Learn more about our partnership.

From left to right: Shirley Tee, Senior Lecturer, School of Business Management, NYP; Dennis Ang, Director, School of Information Technology, NYP; Chuu Yi, Loh, Director, School of Business Management, NYP; Nicolas Betbeder-Matibet, Regional Vice-President for ASEAN and Greater Asia, TIBCO Software; Alan Ho, Director of Marketing, APJ, TIBCO Software; Phil Martin, VP & General Counsel, APJ, TIBCO Software; San Zaw, Head of Solution Consulting, Asia, TIBCO Software; and Esther Ho, Deputy Director, School of Business Management, Nanyang Polytechnic.