Solving for the Data Scientist Talent Gap: The Adobe Analytics Challenge

by Nate Smith

posted on 10-10-2017

Just ten years ago, the notion of a data scientist wasn’t on the recruiting radar for any business. Few individuals understood the value of expertise that combines analytics, computer science, engineering, business insights, and so much more.

Fast forward to the present day — a data scientist is arguably seen as one of the most sought-after employees of this decade. McKinsey projects that by next year, the demand for data scientists may be as much as 60 percent greater than supply.They predict the U.S. economy could be short up to 250,000 data scientists by 2027.

As the volume of data availability at an organization’s fingertips continues to explode, it’s clear that many successful organizations understand the value of a data scientist. And while many universities now have courses and programs that map to these careers, a talent deficiency remains and needs to be addressed.

Recognizing that university coursework is only half the battle in closing the gap and cultivating the next generation of data science talent, Adobe is committed to sharing the responsibility with the announcement of the 2017 Adobe Analytics Challenge. Now in its 12th year, the Adobe Analytics Challenge puts real world data and analytics tools into the hands of students in the form of a cutthroat competition. With $60,000 on the line, the Challenge brings together students from across the nation to showcase their data-driven skills. In partnership with MGM, students will have access to real-world data from the world’s leading hospitality and entertainment company.

Born in 2005 as a tool for Adobe to help uncover the brightest minds and most passionate talent in analytics, the competition now enables Adobe to invest in students who are breaking into the world of data and advanced analytics. Last year, more than 1,500 students entered the competition from 70 different schools, with the winners hailing from the University of Utah, David Eccles School of Business.

This year’s competition promises to put students’ skills to the test. Working with Adobe customer, MGM, students this year will be presented with a cross-channel customer analytics data set.They will be utilizing Adobe Analytics to find opportunities for MGM to develop even more compelling customer experiences. Students will be trained on how to use Adobe Analytics, including machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities that will help them surface new, actionable insights for MGM. With more than 48,000 rooms and suites, 18,000 conventions and meetings per year, and 28,000 slot machines — MGM quite literally sits on a treasure trove of data. By leveraging this data, groups of up to three students will present to a panel of judges on insights in relation to where the opportunities are to increase future conversions, how to personalize to each guest that walks thru the door, how consumers are making their travel choices, the impact of entertainment and sports on dining and rooms, as well as mobile app opportunities.

This competition is more than just bragging rights — throughout the years it has brought together students from across the nation, acting as a career springboard for many aspiring data scientists and analysts. Visit here for more details on the challenge.


Products: Analytics