Data may be the lifeblood of the financial service industry but there needs to be greater emphasis placed on the importance of specialist data science skills if firms want to realise their goals, according to a survey from SIX Group
The survey, which was conducted from 28th September to 02nd November 2020, polled 113 participants from buy and sellside firms, exchanges, regulatory bodies and other organisations.
It shows that data management – including the sourcing and provision of data -and data analytics – was ranked as the first and second most important initiatives.
The majority or 90% of respondents are set to increase their data consumption to varying degrees over the next 12 months with more than half (52%) placing the ability to generate meaningful insights from data as a strategic priority. Meanwhile,33% expect to enhance their data intelligence.
However, only 41% of respondents are anticipating an increased demand from their business for data scientist skills over the next year. As a result, there is less importance placed on aligning the necessary skills to the goals of better management and analysis of the data.
The report notes that without this expertise, firms could have difficulty in capturing growth opportunities and creating alpha.
“The findings highlight an important discrepancy in how firms approach data management and analytics,” said Sam Sundera, head of future business financial information at SIX. 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.
He added, that “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.”
He noted that “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.”