A report out today reveals that half of the UK’s data scientists are suffering from work-related stress. 

The study, carried out by US software vendor SAS on 600 data scientists, shows that a quarter of male data scientists and a third of female data scientists consider themselves to be ‘heavily stressed’.

SAS attributes the high stress levels to increased industry demand and a shortage of data scientists with relevant skills.

“Better definition of roles within data science must be a priority to avoid an analytics talent burn out,” said Peter Robertshaw, managing director at SAS UK & Ireland.

“Unlocking insights from big data is the challenge of the 21st century and data scientists are a precious resource. Organisations must recognise the need to create teams that are technically proficient, mathematically gifted, business savvy as well as being great communicators. 

“If we are to reduce stress for data scientists, organisations need to address the underlying causes. This should be combined with an industry effort to develop the range of skills needed and a push to attract more people into this vital, evolving discipline.”

Research carried out by SAS suggests the UK needs to find 69,000 big data specialists between 2012 and 2017, with 60 percent of organisations already struggling to hire people with the data science skills they require. 

Data scientists are tasked with turning big data into useful insight. Their skills can be used to predict fraudulent transactions in financial services, identify and retain loyal customers, or accelerate research into treatments for diseases such as cancer.

SAS creates many of the business analytics products used by data scientists in their everyday jobs. 

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