Big data is fast becoming a top priority for businesses, and with it, the number of job positions is growing. A McKinsey Global Institute study reckons there’ll be a shortage of around 1.5 million jobs in the area by 2018. But which job roles are actually available, and what do they involve? Let’s take a closer look.
The hottest job in data, or perhaps even in the world, data scientists are especially popular at snazzy Silicon Valley firms. They need a wide range of skills, including programming languages and statistical techniques. A high level of business acumen along with top-notch communication skills round off the highly sought-after package.
Data analysts might not have the most glamourous title but they are still the backbone of any big data team. They collect, process and analyse statistical data and typically have excellent knowledge of database systems and programming languages like R and Python.
As big data grows in popularity, so to does the importance of the data architects. They create blueprints of data management systems to integrate, centralise, protect and maintain data sources. It’s a demanding job that requires knowledge of data warehousing, database architecture, ETL, data modelling and systems development.
The software engineers of the data world, they know an incredible range of programming languages, spanning both web development languages like Java and Ruby and statistical languages like R and SPSS. With them, they develop, construct, test and maintain databases and processing systems.
The guardians of the database and an important part of any big data team, database administrators make sure the database can be accessed by relevant users, is performing as it should be and is safe. They usually have an excellent understanding of backup and recovery systems, SQL, data security, data modelling and ERP.
You don’t have to be a programming or statistical genius to work with big data. Business analysts use their business expertise to link data insights to actionable points, often sharing their insights to other departments. While they often know SQL, their main skills lie in data visualisation, business intelligence, storytelling and data modelling.
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