Data analytics in the UK

With a highly skilled workforce, technology funding opportunities and solid infrastructure the UK is well placed to thrive in the continuing data revolution.

The expanding data market in the UK

The UK has one of the world’s strongest and most developed data analytics sectors, and it’s growing. Predictions have put growth over the next 5 years at 177%, with 'big data' user numbers increasing to around 644,000.

The expected benefits of this growth to the UK economy are huge. The industry is forecast to create 58,000 new jobs by 2017 and generate 241 billion GBP by 2020.

More connectivity means more data and our companies are leading the way in collecting, processing and understanding it. From data gathering through 5G networks and low energy radio, through to data sharing with robust open data sets, our expertise extends across the full range of technological advancements.

More and more UK companies are adopting cloud-based storage solutions. Adoption of cloud technologies by businesses based in the UK has almost doubled from 48% in 2010 to 84% in 2015.

The UK is currently the world’s second largest exporter of computer and information services.

The UK's data infrastructure and talent

Having such an advanced data sector means we have the infrastructure and skills to meet rising demand.

A well-developed data centre and cloud computing infrastructure sets the UK ahead of the competition. The UK is already the largest data centre market in Europe with over 26% of the capacity for the region.

It’s estimated that 31,000 people work in specialist big data roles in the UK and the talent pipeline, together with demand, should see that increase by 243% over the next 5 years.

Universities such as Goldsmiths, Edinburgh and Sheffield offer degrees in big data analytics, with others offering courses in data science, artificial intelligence and visualisation. Oxford, Cambridge, University College London (UCL), Warwick and Edinburgh, 3 of whom are among the top 6 universities in the world, have launched the UK’s national centre of expertise for data science, The Alan Turing Institute.

With such an extensive talent pool there is plenty of opportunity for companies to hire the staff they need for growth.

Support for data analytics businesses in the UK

The UK currently has more than 30 programmes that provide investment support to accelerate new data analytics companies. The UK’s Open Data Institute has supported more than 28 start-up companies working in open data and analytics.

The sector is seen as vital to the economic health of the nation and this is backed up by substantial investment in the industry. All 7 UK Research Councils have invested in big data analytics projects providing total investment of more than 300 million GBP.

An established and thriving market, solid infrastructure and a skilled workforce point to a bright future for the UK’s data analytics sector.

The government also has up to 50 billion GBP available to support finance and insurance for supplies from within the UK to buyers outside the UK. This support takes the form of guarantees, insurance and loans issued by its export credit agency, UK Export Finance.

Last updated 25 September 2017

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