Data Market Observations: May 2023

An Inside Look at May’s UK Data Talent Landscape: Navigating Current Economic and Labour Market Challenges

As data professionals, you're in the eye of a fascinating storm that's brewing in the UK. In our recent talks with industry insiders, business leaders and fellow data enthusiasts, we've gained insights into a landscape shaped not just by data and technology, but also by the current economic climate and labour market challenges and whilst it is a shifting landscape, our view at MBN is that the market for the best in data talent remains buoyant.

The Demand and Supply Game: Where Do You Stand?

There's no escaping the fact that data professionals are in high demand. Each conversation we've had with business leaders just reiterates how important data skills have become to the success of their businesses. However, despite the high demand, the current economic landscape and cost of living crisis have made navigating the job market a tricky endeavour.

For some, the economic uncertainty has raised questions about job stability and the potential risks of switching roles. Meanwhile, companies, grappling with their own financial concerns, are feeling the pinch when it comes to offering competitive salaries. This has led to a somewhat paradoxical situation where jobs are plenty, but taking the leap feels riskier than ever.

Challenges with Upskilling and Education

As data professionals, continuous learning and upskilling are part of your DNA. However, the current economic climate has impacted this area as well. High living costs and financial uncertainty may be causing some hesitation about investing in further education or training.

On the flip side, we've heard from data leaders who are struggling to find professionals with not just technical prowess, but also the business acumen to translate data insights into strategic recommendations. This is an area for potential growth and differentiation for those willing to invest in these skills.

Adapting to the Business Climate: Opportunities for You

Despite these challenges, there are still opportunities to be had. We've heard from companies that they're not just looking for 'data experts' but 'problem solvers'. Businesses are trying to navigate rising operational costs and maintain profitability and they need people who can help them do that.

Many are offering flexible working options, remote work and additional benefits like continuous learning opportunities. They're looking to attract and retain the best data talent and they're willing to think outside the box to do so. 

Charting Your Future Path

The bottom line is this - despite the economic uncertainty and current challenges, your skills are more critical now than they've ever been. The current economic challenges have underscored the importance of data in navigating uncertain times. 

The conversations we've had indicate a sense of optimism, a belief that data professionals like yourselves are not just essential for business growth, but also for weathering economic storms. 

It may feel like a rocky road ahead, but remember this - as a data professional, you're not just a part of the future, you're leading it. The UK, with its innovative spirit and resilience, is the perfect stage for you to showcase your talents and make a difference.

Author Bio


Michael started MBN to deal with what he perceived as a weakness within the recruitment industry and its lack of deep domain expertise in the areas of data, analytics and technology. 15 years on, MBN is a hugely successful and market leading provider of People Solutions to disruptive and fast moving businesses seeking the very best talent to support their strategic intent. MBN’s success has come about through leadership and passion to collaborate and build communities of stakeholders. In recent years this has been evidenced through organising and facilitating two of the UK’s most compelling networking groups: Scotland Data Science & Technology and Blockchain Scotland Meet-Up Group. With such groups playing a pivotal role in helping to surface unmet clients’ needs and helping to build links with an enhanced candidate pool, he has also used this as a platform for growth by hosting events such as ScotChain, CityChain and Data Talent 2.0. Outside of MBN, he continues to act as an advisor and mentor to a number of start-ups, charities and third-sector organisations and have provided support to many government agencies seeking to understand the evolving complex landscape of Data Talent Acquisition.