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European organizations face data science skills shortage

While the world grapples with unprecedented economic challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis is also driving the need for digital transformation in organizations. Digital transformations will generate massive amounts of data, enabling organizations to extract actionable intelligence from such data, thus leveraging analytics. However, a recent survey from MIT has found that change management, a lack of skills, and data issues are the top AI constraints.

The greatest limitation to wider use of AI is the challenge of adapting business processes to exploit AI insights, according to the survey, followed by a shortage of data scientists, and insufficient data. The survey, which focuses on Europe, reports that not only is the continent’s data science talent pool potentially around half that of the US, but retention is a challenge. Companies are losing skills overseas, and much of the talent coming into Europe heads to the UK.

Human capital management will be a major growth area for AI in Europe. Customer care, IT management, and sales and marketing will be the leading areas of AI use over the next three years – say survey respondents. By 2022, more than three-quarters will use AI to support customer service. The fastest area of AI growth is expected in HR processes. The number of companies using AI for human capital management will triple by 2022, reaching almost half of the surveyed businesses. The only way to reduce this skill gap is through continuous learning for professionals to keep on acquiring new skills and stay relevant.

With 5G technology becoming more prevalent in countries such as China, US and Japan, we will see learners and solution providers truly adopting the ‘learning anywhere, anytime’ concept of digital education across formats. The classical in-person classroom learning will be supplemented with new learning modalities – from live broadcasts to ‘educational influencer’s’ to virtual reality experiences. Learning could become a habit that is integrated into daily routines – a true lifestyle indeed.

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