Only one third of companies are able to effectively use Big Data to assist their business' decision-making, according to a global survey by EMC.

The EMC Data Science Study questioned 500 "data scientists" and business intelligence professionals at firms across the US, the UK, France, Germany, India and China. The survey found that the demand for the skills necessary to fully make use of business data generated by mobile sensors, social media, surveillance, medical imaging, smart grids and other areas will outpace supply within five years.

Only a third of respondents were "very confident" in their company’s ability to make business decisions based on new data, and almost two thirds (64 percent) believed demand for data science talent would outpace supply over the next five years.

Respondents said barriers to data science adoption were lack of skills or training (32 percent) budget/resources (32 percent), the wrong organisational structure (14 percent) and lack of tools/technology (10 percent).

The survey found that only 38 percent of business intelligence analysts and data scientists "strongly agree" their company uses data to learn more about customers.

Only 12 percent of business intelligence professionals and 22 percent of data scientists strongly believed employees have the access to run experiments on data – "undermining a company’s ability to rapidly test and validate ideas and thus its approach to innovation".

Jeremy Burton, chief marketing officer at EMC, said: "What’s needed to fully realise the value of Big Data is a vibrant, interconnected, highly skilled and empowered data science community to reveal relevant trend patterns and uncover new insights hidden within."