Going to be heretical here! STOP saying the lack of talents is the reason why Data Science or Artificial Intelligence is not adopted in organizations! We will not be able to rid of the root of the talent issues if we keep saying it is the lack of it! Because the focus will be just having more "training" which is just a vicious cycle!

The question I post rather is "Does managers TRULY know what are the skills and knowledge that is needed?"

1) Data Science and Artificial Intelligence for it to produce value needs implementation experience! One common mistake I've seen is hiring "talents" with LOTS of paper credentials but no project experience. Will you be keen to be operated by a surgeon that keeps reads a lot of medical books but never cut someone up? Paper credentials only reflect the person HAS the knowledge and tools (a prerequisite) to work on a problem, but not representative of the fact the person can solve problems with the knowledge and tools which is essential (to create value)!

If you look at the medical field, new surgeons are mentored and lead by very experienced surgeons. That should be the way for businesses to hire. Hire someone experienced (perm headcount or consultant) to build, lead and mentor the team and to build use cases instead.

2) The skills and knowledge needed really depend on the maturity level of the organization. Stop looking for machine learning talents when your organization is still struggling to gain value from your reports and dashboards. Be realistic and look for the right talents for the right maturity level or tasks! If you do not know the STARTING skills needed, perhaps can check out AI Professionals Association's Chartered AI Engineer (CAIE). Inside, my colleagues and I stated down the essential skills for each level/profile. I welcome any feedback on it! [https://aip.org.sg/caie/] :)

Really, the most important task right now is to educate companies/businesses on how to hire right so that the industry can grow and there will be a stream of talents! If the companies hire right, market forces will drive training partners to provide the correct skills/knowledge training to our passionate talents.

In my community work, I have seen many talents but companies either have unrealistic expectations of them or lack opportunities to develop their skills and experience further. The industry cannot grow well, if we do not focus on hiring correctly!