Recruitment Ready: A snapshot of the forces driving demand for data talent

Technology is becoming a mandatory feature of regulation and changes, that is to say that data is empowering organizations to make better decisions, and at the same time it is being regulated and protected. While the use of Data is said to be one of the key drivers of an organisation’s success, using data incorrectly is not only expensive in opportunity costs, but also in potential fines for regulators when breaches are discovered.  It is mandatory that firms meet regulatory requirements and respond to changes. The effective use of data can empower an organisation to properly monitor, detect and respond to potential risk.  We’ve seen this impacting the wider technology recruitment market.

There has never been a better time for organisations to deploy technology and data to solve regulatory challenges.  Intelligent use of data is being deployed in many ways across organisations to garner results, with artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science a critical feature of many organizations decision process.  Data driven solutions are having a profound impact on how an organisation monitor activity, detect breaches and manage potential crime and regulatory risk to avoid loss and costly fines.  Not only can data assist in avoiding such costs, it can also make processes more efficient to better prioritise innovation and prioritise more transparency.  

Data Scientists are an integral piece to insurers, consulting firms and banks, with roles of actuaries, data analysts, pricing analysts and risk analyst changing.  As data savvy talent are providing more and more value to the organization where they ply their trade, it is understandable that the cost of attracting such talent is increasing.  For example, the cost of demanding the best Data Scientists to gleam new insights for a business is not only in the form of salary, it comes also in the form of benefits provided by the firm.  

The real cost comes in organisations having appropriate strategies to ensure that the data is captured, structured and shared appropriately.  A data transformation can require substantial investment in new systems, processes and implementation.  Changes to Data Governance, Data Pipelines, Data Quality and Master Data Management necessitate data focused Architects, Project Managers, Engineers and Business Analysts.  

Regulatory changes such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), codifying guidelines on data and its protection is a European Union initiative however the globalisation of the economy means that it is being adopted by any organisation who may interact with EU citizens.  Similarly, global accounting standards such as IFRS17, specific to insurers is being adopted by major firms globally, impacting insurance contracts and their underlying revenue, with a deadline set for early 2021.  

The impact of global initiatives and changes increases short-term (1 -3 years) demand of the Technology Staff with strong understanding of Data and experience in regulatory change, such as GDPR or IFRS17.  There is a further premium for those with such experience as well as strong business stakeholder skills to engage with business, compliance and marketing functions.  Currently, many of these SME’s are employed by the Top 4 consulting firms.  The positions below represent some of the placements we are seeing here at Kapital (for further information on salaries, bonuses and day rates for the below, please contact

Head of Data

Data Analytics Lead

Data Scientist

Data Architect

Data Engineer

Salary ranges can vary vastly due to the dependent on the specialised knowledge and skills of candidates.  Those with strong technology skills and the ability to engage with business functions effectively are proving to be the most in demand due to the additional value they provide.  Business acumen, influence and emotional intelligence to navigate complex change associated with such projects as data transformation and or regulation changers is a mandatory feature to the success of any change.  The consequence of this is that the overall cost is often greater for organisations seeking talent with such attributes.  Retention of such talent will also be a key feature of any organisation in the current market.  

As the use of data is such a powerful magnifier for all organisations, data talent, unlike many of the other areas of technology before are industry agnostic.  The result of this is that banks, consulting firms, insurers and fund managers are competing with the likes of Google or Atlassian to bring on the best talent.  The demand for data skills will likely continue to grow, so how organisations work with their best data talent to provide value to them will be a key feature.  

For more information on current market and trends, please reach out to or follow Shane on LinkedIn at