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InfoQ Homepage News Anaconda Publishes 2022 State of Data Science Report

Anaconda Publishes 2022 State of Data Science Report

Anaconda, makers of a Python distribution popular among data scientists, recently published a report on the results of their State of Data Science survey. The report summarizes responses from nearly 3,500 students, academics, and professionals from 133 countries, and covers topics about respondent demographics and jobs as well as trends within the community.

The report was announced on the Anaconda blog. The survey ran from April 25 until May 14 this year, with respondents gathered from social media, the Anaconda website, and the Anaconda email database. The survey begins with demographics questions, then moves to workplace topics, including job tasks, tools, and the future of work. The survey also drills deep into the use of open-source software (OSS) in the enterprise, with particular focus on contribution as well as security concerns. The report concludes with several key takeaways, such as concerns in industry about a data-science talent shortage.

According to Anaconda,

As with years prior, we conducted a survey to gather demographic information about our community, ascertain how that community works, and collect insights into big questions and trends that are top of mind within the community. As the impacts of COVID continue to linger and assimilate into our new normal, we decided to move away from covering COVID themes in our report and instead focus on more actionable issues within the data science, machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence industries, like open-source security, the talent dilemma, ethics and bias, and more.

The report is organized into the following sections:

  • The Face of Data Science: demographic data about the respondents
  • Data Professionals at Work: data about the work environment
  • Enterprise Adoption of Open Source: use and contribution to OSS and concerns about the OSS "supply chain"
  • Popularity of Python: data about the adoption of various programming languages by the respondents
  • Data Jobs and the Future of Work: data about job satisfaction, talent shortages, and the future of the workforce
  • Big Questions and Trends: sentiments about innovation and government involvement

The section on enterprise adoption of OSS revealed a concern about the security of OSS projects. In particular, the recent Log4j incident was a "disruptive and far-reaching example" that caused nearly a quarter of the respondents to reduce their OSS usage. Although most companies represented in the responses still use OSS, nearly 8% do not, and of those more than half said it was due to security concerns, which is a 13% increase from last year. The results also showed a 13% year-over-year decrease in the number of respondents whose companies encourage them to contribute to OSS.

The section on big questions and trends looked at several topics, including blockers to innovation. A majority said that insufficient talent and insufficient investment in engineering and tooling were the biggest barriers in the enterprise. Perhaps related to this concern about talent shortages, respondents said the most important role of AutoML would be to enable non-experts to train models, and nearly 70% of respondents thought their governments should provide more funding for STEM education.

In a discussion on Twitter about the survey responses on the role of government in tech, industry analyst Lawrence Hecht pointed out:

[Respondents] mostly want the government to give them money. Only 35% want regulation of Big Tech. A follow-on chart shows that even more clearly that there is no desire for specific actions re: AI and tech regulation -- more of a general angst.

Earlier this year, InfoQ covered Stanford University's AI Index 2022 Annual Report, which identifies top trends in AI, including advances in technical achievements, a sharp increase in private investment, and more attention on ethical issues. More recently, AI investors Nathan Benaich and Ian Hogarth published their fifth annual State of AI Report, covering issues related AI research, industry, politics, and safety. At the 2022 Google Cloud Next conference, Kaggle presented the results of their annual State of Data Science and Machine Learning survey of 23,997 respondents from 173 countries; the survey questions covered areas related to respondent demographics, programming language and tools, machine learning, and cloud computing.

The Anaconda survey response raw data is available on the Anaconda Nucleus website.

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