The fast changing culture in business and the relentless pace at which technology is advancing is proving to be a double edged sword. While big data companies are finding ways to store data that is between 20 and 50% cheaper than traditional data warehousing, this is not where the problem lies. Companies are amassing vast amounts of data in an effort to be able to optimise systems and offer customers more personalized products and services. Collection and storage of the data is relatively easy and successful, however, being able to analyse and manage the data effectively is proving to be a greater challenge. The primary reason: There is a massive shortage of Business Intelligence skills in the market place.
A 2014 Accenture report revealed that 90% of clients admitted needing to hire more big data analysts and managers, but 40% of these clients cited a lack of available talent as a major obstacle. An IDC report predicts that by 2018, there will be a need for more than 181 000 people with deep analytical skills in the marketplace. The simple truth is that the demand for analytical skills far outweighs the supply and this trend is set to continue. While this may not be great news for businesses, it is indeed very good news for jobseekers in the IT analytics and Big Data industry.
Rare skills provide better earning potential
Currently it is estimated that a Big Data analyst earns 2-3 times more than an average programmer. Annual starting salaries can be between £70,000 and £135,000 depending on the organisation and the city or location where you find work. By learning skills that can help with the implementation of systems such as Wave Analytics Cloud, you are not only more likely to find a job more easily, but will also earn much more.
How to take advantage of these market opportunities
Companies such as Salesforce have invested in developing technology such as Wave Analytics Cloud – app driven software that makes data more easily available. Companies using Salesforce and other similar technologies need people who can effectively manage the systems. This may include big data skills such as statistical analysis, data management and reporting. Getting to know these technologies will give you a distinct advantage in the marketplace. Because there is such a shortage of skills, people that are willing to learn, or that have even just a basic level of understanding of big data management are more likely to be put forward for further training in data analytics, reporting and management.
It is predicted that given future technological advances, these three fields that have traditionally been merged into a single role will now each become individual areas of specialisation. In other words, if you find your niche and specialise in an area of big data management or analysis, the career opportunities are almost unlimited.
Here are some tips on how to prepare for your career advancement:
- Consider what your current skill levels are and how you can build on this.
- Research what technologies are being adopted by large corporations, such as Salesforce’s Wave Analytics Cloud and start to learn these.
- If you are already in the market place, volunteer for training on new technologies in data analytics offered through your company.
- Join online forums where you can interact with and learn from other analysts and people using and developing the technologies.
- Follow leading technologies in order to stay abreast of latest developments and make sure that your knowledge is detailed and accurate, not just based on blog opinions.
- Highlight specialised skills on your CV when applying for a promotion or a position in a new company.
There is little doubt that big data analytics hold some of the most promising future career prospects. It is a growing industry that is constantly advancing at a very rapid pace. As an IT professional, up-skilling in this niche industry is one of the best career moves you could make, both for career advancement and your future earning potential.