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The looming global analytics talent mismatch in banking

Advanced analytics can provide banks with powerful new tools. However, high demand for analytics specialists prove to be a problem for banks.

Overview

Attracting and retaining specialists experienced in statistics, quantitative analysis and information-modelling techniques is, and will continue to be, crucial for banks. However, with the future forecasting a shortage of skilled talent, banks will struggle to translate data potential into profit.

The Accenture Institute for High Performance undertook a study to gather and interpret data on job creation and skills availability. Our research identifies that there is already a scarcity of highly skilled talent to meet this growing demand, which is a situation forecast to worsen.

Background
The financial crisis of 2008 has changed the banking landscape. Customers are more empowered, demanding personalised services and products; shareholders are driving banks to address costs through structural improvements; and stringent regulatory changes relating to reporting and compliance procedures have been introduced.

Banks need skilled analysts to apply advanced analytics across their entire business model and generate the insight necessary to build more profitable customer relationships, mitigate risk and transform business strategies.

Analysis

Our research, undertaken by The Accenture Institute for High Performance, focusing on deposit and lending areas within retail banks, commercial banks, investment banks and central banks, shows the banking industry would add around 21,500 new analytics jobs - an overall growth of 23% from 2010 to 2015.

Looking at growth by analytics job type we found that developed countries will see the fastest growth in the number of Analytics Experts. In China, Brazil and India the number of Analytics Specialists roles will grow fastest. Whilst banks in Singapore will experience faster growth in Analytics Scientist roles due to its positioning as a hub for analytics and regional financial services. It is clear that businesses have begun to aggressively poach top analysts from highly analytical organisations leaving banks extremely vulnerable. We found a critical mismatch between suitable analytics talent versus the forecasted job growth.

Recommendations

Closing the analytics talent gap relies on the effective collaboration of employers, educators and policymakers because fundamental changes are crucial to increase the pool of analytics talent.

We highlight several opportunities to address the current shortage of expertise:

  1. Integrate business analytics across a broader range of university programs

  2. Raise awareness of career opportunities

  3. Lobby government to introduce:

    • Educational reforms

    • National policy change

  4. Deepen skills of existing talent

  5. Work with labor market intermediaries

  6. Ensure analytics roles are appealing.

For banks it is imperative to focus on a long-term strategy to attract and retain commercially savvy analytical specialists. Those willing to invest in innovative sourcing strategies will benefit from a competitive advantage over rivals impeded by their lack of resourcefulness in a scarce market.

For further information, please contact us