More and more retail brands and marketers are turning to data scientists... parse their diverse data sets and provide actionable information. This new breed of data hound combines computer science, statistics, math and business acumen to answer tough questions for their companies.

However, the McKinsey Global Institute recently predicted “by 2018, the United States could face a shortage of between 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills, as well as a shortage of 1.5 million managers and analysts who know how to use the analysis of Big Data to make effective decisions.”

Another report, Forrester Analytics’ State of Customer Analytics 2014, concluded that analytics are no longer an option. Rather, they are a necessity for most organizations to compete.

With the surging need for such hard-to-find data scientists and their equally escalating price tag, some brands will surely be left without the necessary data insights they covet. One alternative is to outsource work to contract data scientists, but that can also be costly and finding the correct skill set can be difficult. Instead, the most agile companies are turning to alternatives like mobile data collection software.

By arming field teams with a mobile enterprise solution on their smartphones, company decision makers can receive real-time data in return. This real-time information from the field is displayed in an easy-to-digest format full of charts, graphs and rich media. This simplifies and streamlines both data collection and analysis, providing actionable insights without the costly price tag of an in-house or contracted data scientist. Some field management software providers, like GoSpotCheck, even offer customers access to their in-house data scientists (for a fee) to parse the most complex data sets.

In order to compete both today and in the future, data analysis is a necessity. However, there are alternatives to utilizing a costly and in-demand data scientist to fulfill your data analysis needs. The cost-effective and real-time advantage of mobile data collection and analysis is already being used by some of the smartest and most successful brands in the world.

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