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Rising Demand - Business Intelligence and Analytics Emerges as Fast-Growing Fields

By , MD of Master Data Management.
07 Aug 2023
Gary Allemann, MD at Master Data Management.
Gary Allemann, MD at Master Data Management.

The growing use of technology in businesses has led to an increase in the demand for professionals who can analyse and interpret data to make informed decisions. As a result, the field of Business Intelligence (BI) has emerged as one of the fastest-growing areas in the tech industry. BI involves the collection, integration, analysis, and presentation of data in a way that helps organisations make strategic and operational decisions. This process requires professionals with diverse skill sets and job titles, such as data analysts, business analysts, data engineers, and BI developers, to name a few.

Future outlook on BI

Looking towards the future, the outlook for business intelligence careers is promising, with employment of computer and information research scientists projected to grow 15% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Paul Newman, who serves as the operating director for Page Group South Africa, states that the increasing use of technology trends such as Cloud Computing, Data Science, and Artificial Intelligence is leading to a rise in the need for professionals in the field of business intelligence and analytics in South Africa. However, he notes that the lack of STEM skills, which refers to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, is the major obstacle hindering growth in this space.

Closing the Skills Gap in Africa

If one is looking for a career in business intelligence, it's essential to build technical and fundamental BI skills, network, look for internship opportunities, apply for entry-level positions, and be willing to relocate. However, it's crucial to note that there is a significant skills gap in Africa when it comes to digital skills, with many employees lacking the necessary skills to participate in the digital economy.

The African Development Bank have found that 52% of African businesses surveyed reported a lack of digital skills among their employees, nonetheless, investments in BI education and training could help close this gap.

The skills gap in Africa and other developing economies means that there is a mismatch between the skills that workers possess and the skills that are in demand. Science and technology skills are particularly in high demand, with insufficient qualified workers in these areas.

In South Africa specifically, the demand for science and technology skills remains high, with less qualified workers in these areas. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated skills imbalances, with certain sectors experiencing increased demand for digital skills. This trend highlights the need for BI professionals to provide trustworthy analytics in today's fast-paced business environment.

The Implications of Increasing Reliance on Data for Business Intelligence Professionals

In today's fast-paced business environment, executives are increasingly relying on data to make informed decisions, which means that they need analytics they can trust. This trend has significant implications for BI professionals, who must ensure that the data they provide is accurate, reliable, and actionable. The demand for trustworthy analytics has created significant opportunities for BI professionals, and the market for BI jobs is varied and growing. However, there are challenges that need to be addressed to fully realise the potential of the digital economy, particularly in developing economies like Africa, where there is a significant skills gap in digital skills.

Closing the skills gap in Africa and other developing economies is critical to realising the full potential of the digital economy. Business intelligence professionals can play an essential role in addressing this challenge by sharing their knowledge and skills through mentorship programs or by supporting education and training initiatives. At the same time, BI professionals must also continue to hone their skills and stay up to date with the latest industry trends and technologies to remain competitive and succeed in today's ever-changing business landscape.

In conclusion, the demand for trustworthy analytics has created a promising outlook for the business intelligence and analytics job market. However, addressing the skills gap in digital skills in developing economies like Africa will be critical to fully realising the potential of the digital economy. BI professionals must keep up with the demand for trustworthy analytics while also supporting education and training initiatives to close the skills gap and drive growth and innovation in the digital economy.

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