Top 5 Reasons “Data Geek” Jobs are on the Rise

June 16, 2011
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BI Data Analytics Jobs are Hot 300x199 photo (business intelligence)

This is a guest post by Linda Rosencrance, Spotfire Blogging Team.

BI Data Analytics Jobs are Hot 300x199 photo (business intelligence)

This is a guest post by Linda Rosencrance, Spotfire Blogging Team.

Last week I discussed how “Data Geeks” are in demand as salaries continue to climb.   Since that post received such a great response, I wanted to do a follow up post on this explosive career track.

In a recent blog post, technology expert and IT pro Malick Md said that although the various IT careers have had up and downs, there has been steady growth in the Business Intelligence field. In fact, BI is one of the only fields that has continued to grow even in the face of economic downturn. This trend will continue as more and more companies depend on deeper business insight to remain competitive.

Forrester VP and principal analyst, Boris Evelson (@bevelson) , recently told Integration Developer News (IDN) that BI and data analytics projects are on the rise, which bodes well for career opportunities in BI and analytics for IT integration, software and data architects.

According to Evelson, organizations are starting to jump on the BI bandwagon to become more agile so they can meet the changing needs of business users.

Evelson told IDN that this is good news for IT integration, software and data architects willing to develop business intelligence and analytics skills. But Evelson said that SOA (service-oriented architecture), mashups and data management skills aren’t enough to guarantee a successful career in BI. Rather he told IDN that IT pros have to have more exposure to BI projects and learn what skills are most important to those projects.

Evelson also gave IDN the top five reasons IT professionals must become proficient in BI and analytics:

  1. To boost their IT budgets. Increasingly organizations are investing in the growth areas of BI and analytics.
  2. Their jobs will be relatively secure. BI jobs aren’t likely to be outsourced. When IT pros gather and analyze the data they have to ensure what they do aligns with the needs of the business—an alignment that’s not easily outsourced, Evelson told IDN.
  3. Collaboration must be face to face. Evelson told IDN that BI and analytics will require face-to-face collaboration between IT and company managers, business analysts, business users, and various IT disciplines. (Editor’s note: For more on collaborative BI experiences check out our Social BI webcast.)
  4. BI projects have to be constantly modified. Support for new data as well as new dashboards and reporting will push the requirements of BI projects.
  5. BI hiring is up dramatically. According to Evelson, large companies like IBM, Microsoft, SAS and system integrator Deloitte are hiring a lot of people proficient in BI. In fact, IBM has said that it will increase the number of employees in its BI-specific services unit from 4,000 to 8,000 over the next years or two.

Evelson told IDN to take advantage of the upswing in BI hiring, IT professionals should learn some of the new emerging BI technology, such as in-memory analytics, mobile BI, non-relational databases, data retrieval from non-traditional data sources (POS terminals, instrumented devices, unstructured data from social networks, and so on), data correlation techniques, even hybrid approaches to using cloud, on-premise and available data subscription services.

Md said a BI specialist should be proficient in:

  • RDBMS—Relational Database Management Systems
  • SQL—Structured Query Language
  • Programming Skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Reporting Skills

Additionally, a BI pro should have the following certifications:

  • Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP) from the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals and The Data Warehousing Institute.
  • Vendor based certifications from SAP Business Object; IBM Cognos; Microsoft BI; Microstrategy and others

“BI is a good career choice of all times,” Md said in his blog. “BI professionals are well recognized and well rewarded in the industry. This trend [will] continue for many years.”

And Evelson equates a career opportunity in BI with a company’s competitive opportunities.

“BI, for companies and for individuals, could be one of the last frontiers for competitive differentiation,” Evelson told IDN.

Although many parts of IT components have been or soon will be commoditized including websites, e-commerce, integration, databases, storage, one aspect that cannot be easily commoditized will be how a business competes, he told IDN.

“And BI is very much about that competitiveness, which is what will make it very valuable,” he told IDN.