How to develop data analytics talents

Developing talents for big data

Data analytics is quickly becoming an essential tool to make business decisions in various industries, such as retail, distribution, medical, education, and public sectors. One of the major obstacles of applying data analytics is the lack of talents. To address this issue, The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology in Japan (MEXT) launched a three-year project for developing data analytics talents and making the best use of them. The ISM is leading this project with the help of The Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo. The goal is to identify the model of talent development and their career that are best suited in Japan, and to share the model among the stakeholders such as academia, industry, and the governments as well as NGO’s.

Current status of “Data Scientists” in Japan

In the first year of the project, we conducted a study on the current status of “data scientists” in Japan. The study consists of a) a survey on those who passed certain levels of the certification tests of Japan Statistical Society Certificate (319 valid responses) and b) a series of interviews with 20 well-known data scientists in Japan. The results indicate that typical data scientist in the United States and those in Japan are somewhat different: in the US, data scientist are more product-focused, meaning that they develop working systems with embedded data analytics, while in Japan, data scientists are typically service professionals who help analyzing their clients’ data.

The next steps

Based on the findings acquired in the first year of the project, we have identified skills needed in these data scientist and started to develop program for them. The program include a) an online training material, titled “Data Scientist Crash Course,” that teaches basic data analytics concepts in a very concise manner, and b) an internship program that presents an opportunity for students who want to be a data scientist to get first-hand experiences of analyzing data.

Purpose of our project
Network building to develop talented people who utilize big data, and promote innovation

Project period
July 8, 2013 ~ March 31, 2016

Implementation organization
The Institute of Statistical Mathematics, The Research Organization of Information and Systems

 Tomoyuki Higuchi, Director-General
 Hiroshi Maruyama, Professor
Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo  Akimichi Takemura, Professor

The fiscal year 2014

Annual report summary
Please inquire about more information.

The fiscal year 2013

Annual report summary [pdf]
Please inquire about more information.