October 18, 2012, 11:29 AM — It's no secret that big data professionals are hard to find. McKinsey & Co. predicts that by 2018 the U.S. could face a shortage of more than 1.5 million specialists needed to capture, store, manage and analyze big data -- which encompasses "the increasing volume and detail of information captured by enterprises, the rise of multimedia, social media and the Internet of Things."
Last spring the Obama administration launched a $200 million big data R&D initiative, part of which is aimed at expanding the workforce needed to develop and use big data technologies.
But employment experts do not expect the situation to get better anytime soon, a problem for companies trying to use big data for competitive advantage. How are they coping with the shortage of talent? Interviews with big data experts and employers found that organizations are using some, if not all, of the following methods.