Data grows, information management professionals shrinking

Posted by Justin Hesser on August 26, 2013

The rise of big data has greatly outpaced professional training, meaning there aren’t enough individuals in the world who can successfully manage an organization’s big data efforts. That’s according to an article in the Chicago Tribune.

The news source detailed a number of companies struggling to keep up with new data management needs because they lack proper personnel. In fact, an even more disconcerting idea is the data analysis profession is trending the wrong way.

Projections made by the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company indicate that the U.S. could face a shortfall of roughly 35 percent of people with advanced training in statistics and other fields that would ultimately be used to help businesses with data management needs. So, not only is data growing at a tremendous rate and new needs are being developed every day, the number of people actually interested in managing information is dwindling.

There are a number of educational efforts being made to reverse this trend and fix this problem, which has both immediate and long-term ramifications. As a result, there may be a day when professionals do catch up with big data and companies are able to successfully fill positions with skilled, educated and qualified individuals who understand all important details pertaining to information management. However, for this to happen, the growth of information volumes and, more importantly, changes in the way data is processed, have to slow down. Neither appear to be happening any time soon.

Linda Burtch is the founder of Burtch Works, an Evanston, Illinois-based executive recruitment firm. She has spent a significant amount of time researching the skills and knowledge of professionals and has determined there simply isn’t enough help out there.

“There aren’t enough of them. Period. End of story,” she told the Tribune. “The demand for quantitative professionals has grown so across industries that there aren’t enough kids coming out of school studying math and statistics.”

That’s why businesses have to innovate and come up with ways to get the most of their information management procedures. If they can’t find the right professionals to operate big data initiatives, their staffs will undoubtedly become limited. The problem here is information growth isn’t slowing down. Meaning, as time goes on, companies will be less equipped to handle any challenges related to big data unless they implement new strategies.

Data processing efficiency is key, particularly if companies lack adequate personnel to manage it. If companies can’t manually collect, store and analyze data, they have to rely on machines to share the load. Building a custom database software system will allow companies to efficiently manage information with limited staff because these systems can streamline a number of processes that may have traditionally required human workers.

Building this solution with FileMaker development offers a number of advantages, but perhaps the most important is that FileMaker-based systems can scale up and down and have the flexibility to adapt with a changing environment. Therefore, once companies are able to hire new workers to manage their data, their systems can be adjusted accordingly.