One of the largest critical challenges to address is the availability of skills. For example, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. recently announced the opening of its biggest office in the U.K. outside London, creating hundreds of technology jobs in Birmingham, England. In recent years, Birmingham also became the home for 1,000 employees from Deutsche Bank AG, mainly in back-office and technology roles. Goldman is hiring software engineers, data analysts and data scientists to work on new ways of delivering financial services at the Birmingham base, due to open by the end of the year. Most critically, these roles will not be working on customized services but common platforms, ideas and tool sets.
Some of the skills required to deliver on the data-science paradigm are not yet fully apparent or widespread — a widely understood example of this skills gap will be the ongoing need to understand the ethical use of data. So, compliance departments of the future may well be staffed by data ethicists who monitor the organizations' data scientists to ensure appropriate behavior, particularly as legal frameworks struggle to keep up with the pace of change.
But even when it comes to immediately required skills, recent research has shown a chronic shortage of data talent. In the U.K., for example, it is costing organizations more than £2 billion ($2.77 billion) a year, according to Nesta, a non-profit organization that fosters innovation. The government's National Data Strategy is seeking to establish the U.K. as a world-leading data economy and highlights the need for firms to develop the core skills required to analyze data sets and bridge the data-science skills gap, and this initiative has relevance globally.
It is now the skills gaps, not the technology gap, that will challenge organizations in the upcoming race to leverage data in the investment management organization.
Kevin Poulton managing director of product strategy at Fitch Learning, a professional training and development firm, which is part of Fitch Group. He is based in London. This content represents the views of the author. It was submitted and edited under Pensions & Investments guidelines but is not a product of P&I's editorial team.