As the cost of computing power, data storage and high-bandwidth Internet access and have plunged exponentially over the past two decades, companies around the globe recognized the power of harnessing data as a source of competitive advantage. But it was only recently, as social web applications and massive, parallel processing have become more widely available that the nescient field of data science revealed what many are becoming to understand: that data is the new oil, the source for corporate energy and differentiation in the 21st century. Companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo and Google are generating data not only as their primary product, but are analyzing it to continuously improve their products. Pharmaceutical and biomedical companies are using big data to find new cures and analyze genetic information, while marketers leverage the same technology to generate new customer insights. In order to tap this newfound wealth, organizations of all sizes are turning to practitioners in the new field of data science who are capable of translating massive data into predictive insights that lead to results.
Data science is an emerging field, with rapid changes, great uncertainty and exciting opportunities. Our study attempts the first ever benchmark of the data science community, looking at how they interact with their data, the tools they use, their education and how their organizations approach data-driven problem solving. We also looked at a smaller group of business intelligence professionals to identify areas of contrast between the emerging role of data scientists and the more mature field of BI. Our findings, summarized here, show an emerging talent gap between organizational needs and current industry capabilities exemplified by the unique contributions data scientists can make to an organization and the broad expectations of data science professionals generally.