Just how in-demand are big data skills?

Chiara Pensato from Alteryx Inc looks at the future of big data skills

This is a contributed piece by Chiara Pensato, EMEA director at Alteryx Inc


Too many investigations into the world of data analytics start something like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Just replace ‘space’ with ‘data’: “Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.

And because data is big, and the skills and the tools required to manage it have historically been designed for an elite caste of data ‘astronauts’ – highly skilled data scientists and analysts with backgrounds in statistics, and possibly coding skills too – the circle of those able to analyze it for business intelligence has been small.

Hence, the salaries of big data professionals have been rising fast for a few years. As in other areas of technology and business, where there is a skills shortage and a strong business case, those with in-demand skills get chased and their worth goes up until the shortage is rebalanced by market forces – and more people acquire the skills needed by business.

The latest Computerworld salary guide includes average salaries across the industry and shows which are the hottest areas to get into: Four hot IT growth areas to guarantee a big salary bump

So far, so what? That’s the way that it’s always been in business. Until technology came along.

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