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Data and Insight Talent & Skills Snapshot 2022 – UK

Here, a Data & Insight sector talent and skills overview, based on ADLIB internal data and knowledge.

Sector overview

With the catalyst of COVID & lockdowns for digital transformation, businesses are, more than ever, looking to their data to make strategic decisions. Strong data underpins digital transformation programmes and this has become a major driver for investment in data teams across the commercial world.

The rise of the CDO role is also pushing forward data agendas and highlighting areas of need across businesses at the C-level, putting data on a par with marketing, technology & finance as key pillars for businesses.

This has driven the growth of data teams, consultancies and agencies across industries as more and more businesses seek to build cloud-based data infrastructure to take advantage of all the benefits this brings.

Data monetization is another driver of growth, with more and more businesses understanding that their data can be an asset and when anonymised, can be sold to other businesses to support their growth.

As more and more businesses improve their data infrastructure, and therefore access to data, they’re realising they have data quality & governance issues preventing them from getting value from this data.

This has led to an increased demand for data governance, management & quality professionals across the UK to ensure that the investment businesses are making in data teams can be taken advantage of.

With better data available to companies, there is an ever-increasing demand for data employees across the board, especially in the data science & engineering spaces.

Talent overview

The major impact of the move to more remote working, is that more and more candidates are taking fully remote roles in more expensive areas of the country and world than has previously occurred. The best candidates in London are working for Silicon Valley companies, which has led to a lot of strong candidates who work across the regions in the UK, taking up higher paid remote roles for London based businesses. The knock- on effect of this being salaries have had to increase across the board to keep up with this change. Overall, we are seeing salaries needing to be 15% – 25% higher over the past 2 years to keep up with this.

Whilst salaries are increasing at the mid-senior end, we are seeing a flood of candidates coming to market with MSc qualifications in Data Science, Big Data, Business Information Systems and more. This should lead to more candidates being available at the junior end of the market, which should lead to salaries stabilising over the next 2-3 years as these candidates gain experience.

2021 was a very candidate driven market with vacancies outnumbering available candidates significantly. This has also led to an increase in candidate salaries across the board and companies have to regularly deal with counter offers and candidates with multiple offers, so have to be competitive to hire them.

We anticipate this demand to continue into 2021 and beyond. Our general message to clients is to take on and train up junior staff if they can, this will help everyone in the long term.

Skills in demand

The main skills we are seeing in demand the most cover the data engineering and digital analytics spaces.

As more and more businesses move to cloud-based data infrastructure, Data Engineers with cloud experience are the most in demand candidate out there. Main skills for these are Python/Java/Scala, SQL, DevOps and AWS/Azure/GCP experience. We’ve also seen a massive uptick in demand for Digital Analysts due to a rise in the levels of eCommerce following on from lockdowns. These candidates will have solid Google/Adobe Analytics skills ideally, combined with SQL/BI skills and Python/R. These candidates are few and far between outside of London and this has led to salaries increasing across the board inside and outside of London. These candidates are the most likely to demand remote working, with the nature of their jobs being digital.