The number of data scientist roles has rocketed as firms grasp the importance of Big Data.

A study by consultancy Procorre found there were 32 per cent more data scientist positions at the midway point of the year compared with six months previously.

“The realisation of the power of data-driven strategies has spread from technology businesses to a much broader range of sectors,” explained Wiktor Podgorski, head of the relationship management team at Procorre.

“As a consequence, we have seen demand for consultants and contractors in key roles like data scientists skyrocket, particularly in manufacturing and professional and financial services.”

There is a growing skills gap in tech, with the Centre for Economics and Business Research predicting that there will be 182,000 new jobs in the UK relating to big data and the internet of things by 2020.

Procorre also reported that the number of data scientists in Europe went up 45 per cent in the same period, with a 59 per cent increase in France and a whopping 79 per cent in Portugal.

There are more data scientist positions in the UK than other parts of Europe.

Shop Direct’s head of data science and digital analytics, Gael Decoudu, gave the keynote speech at BusinessCloud’s Big Data conference at the International Festival for Business.

Experts have highlighted concerns over the potential misuse of data as the Internet of Things continues to harvest it in increasing amounts .

Follow the timeline of BusinessCloud's Big Data conference below: