Data is everywhere. According to a report by IDC and EMC, the digital universe will grow by a factor of 300 between 2005 and 2020, increasing from 130 exabytes to 40 trillion gigabytes. This means that there will be more than 5,200 gigabytes for every single person alive in 2020.

This tremendous amount of data is heralded by organizations which understand that this information is essential in helping them improve their businesses. Gautan Madiman, digital marketing executive at Autodesk, notes that data is creating a lot of opportunities for businesses, including the need to hire analysts. Yet, data on its own isn't enough and savvy business leaders know that they need to invest in the right human resources to crunch the numbers and extract analytic insights from them. "We need people to comb through data and provide insights and recommendations that can add value to customers and businesses," Madiman notes.

However, there's a major problem. Data analysts are in high demand and there isn't enough of them. In fact, in a research note released last year, Gartner predicted that in a mere two years Big Data will create 4.4 million jobs globally. Yet, only one-third of these positions will be filled, resulting in "real financial and competitive benefits for organizations." No wonder the Harvard Business Review calls data scientist positions "the sexiest job of the 21st century."