There is an industry-wide need for specialist data science skills to match the growing appetite for meaningful data insights and greater data consumption, according to a survey by SIX among 113 representatives from buy-side and sell-side firms, exchanges, regulatory bodies and other organisations. The survey was conducted from 28th September to 02nd November 2020 to check the pulse of the industry with regards to their views on data consumption, management, and analytics.
Respondents ranked data management – including the sourcing and provision of data -and data analytics as the first and second most important initiatives at their firms currently, and nearly all (90%) of the financial institutions surveyed are set to increase their data consumption to varying degrees over the next 12 months with more than half (52%) looking to generate meaningful insights from.
Other findings from the survey reveal that 52% of respondents see being well-positioned to generate meaningful insights from data as a strategic priority, revealing a strongly held industry view on the importance of data and data processing.
Despite this, with only 41% of respondents anticipating an increased demand from their business for data scientist skills over the next 12 months, there is less importance placed on matching up the necessary skills to the desire to better manage and analyse more data. This is crucial, as firms will need expertise in this area to allow them to focus on capturing growth opportunities and seek alpha.
The survey also provided insight into how firms perceive ESG data, with 37% of respondents currently looking to significantly increase their use as well as consumption of new data sets in that areas.
Sam Sundera, Head of Future Business Financial Information at SIX, commented on the survey results: “The findings highlight an important discrepancy in how firms approach data management and analytics. The majority of respondents are looking to generate meaningful insights from data while expecting an increase in their data consumption, but at the same time less than half are anticipating increasing demand for data science skills at their firms. This points to a contradiction, as financial institutions need to improve their data science capabilities in order to derive useful insights from a much larger pool of data.”
“The need for sophisticated data science individuals or teams is especially necessary when working with alternative data, which respondents indicate they plan to use more of in future. The key here is not just to have access to alternative data but to connect it to your securities of interest, your portfolio or your assets under management, which requires in-house or third party data specialists.”