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Data Science in Ireland: how we compare internationally

12 September 2019 by Mason Alexander
Mason Alexander – Data Science in Ireland

​Data Science in Ireland – how we compare internationally

Understanding a corporation’s data is critical to any modern business. Whether tracking customer journeys, buying habits, trading, enhancing security or understanding trends and flows, data science has grown to become one of the most important functions within an organisation. The need for data scientists can be seen across all manner of business in Ireland; from small start-ups to large multinationals, the hunt is on for strong data science talent.


“Making the invisible, visible”

Data science uses scientific methods and processes to draw out and analyse insights from an organisation’s data. Data science covers a variety of areas, from analysing data, data modelling, creating pipelines and delivering reports. The data scientist’s key role is to link the analytic side to the business side of the organisation. They must also be able to communicate their findings to key decision makers to ensure they understand the current situation.


A Young Profession

The title ‘data scientist’ did not exist 5 years ago. Traditionally, tech professionals would have an educational background of computer science or engineering, now it seems the landscape has shifted towards more specialised degrees. New areas of technology, such as AI and machine learning, are adapting and evolving so quickly that by the time new courses are available to tech professionals they are out of date.


Where are the Data Scientists?

As data science is such a young profession, the current supply is struggling keep up with the increased market demand. A significant number of data scientists are located in the US, the San Francisco Bay Area alone has 18,894 data science professionals whereas Ireland as a whole has only 3,225:

Extended Breakdown:
San Francisco Bay Area 18,894
New York City Metropolitan Area 17,652
London 8,716
Paris 7,960
Ireland 3,255


Become a Data Scientist

There are many ways that one can move into a Data Scientist role. As there is no direct pathway or a compulsory set of skills, professionals from various different backgrounds can easily move into a data scientist role.
As Data Science incorporates skills from different areas, professionals from areas such as tech, project management, even financial services, could be open to pursuing a career in data science.
Professionals with these backgrounds could easily upskill through online educational courses, such as Udacity or Udemy, in order to continue on to a role in Data Science.


Tackling the skill shortage

The data science market in Ireland is at a pinnacle moment. As more organisations realise the value of data analysis, the demand for home-grown data science talent will begin to mount.
There are many ways that corporations can attract key data science talent:
– Encouraging inhouse talent to pursue data science and supporting them throughout their studies is an easy way to guarantee data science professionals that hold strong loyalty to the organisation.
– Exploring international markets with significant talent pools, such as the US, to source candidates.
– Adding remote working to the offering in order to extend your global reach.


Mason Alexander’s Senior Consultant specialising in Data Science, Niamh Kelly, commented:

“Forward-thinking companies are now realising the power of incorporating Data Scientists into their organisations. Analysing data offers a new power dynamic in the age of information technology and has been proven to effectively drive growth. Taking a step towards a career in this area would put you at the forefront of designing new solutions for the future, across all sectors, in what has been described by the Harvard Business Review as ‘the sexiest job for the 21st century’.”


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