IBM reports that every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. Of that data, 90% of it has been created in the past two years. This massive amount of information is forcing companies to look at creating new positions to handle all their data (which is now reaching into the petabytes).
This“big data” movement will create thousands of new jobs for IT professionals in the upcoming years. Companies that create jobs to analyze big data will score a competitive advantage by being able to make more effective business decisions based on their findings.
The problem organizations are running into is the lack of a specific degree that focuses mainly on Big Data as a whole. This makes it more difficult to nail down exactly who and what skills are necessary to succeed at these jobs. Experts say that the skills most often mentioned in connection with big data jobs include math, statistics, data analysis, business analytics and even natural language processing. This broad range of desired skills and experience makes it very difficult for individuals to be fully qualified without many years of experience.
According to ComputerWorld’s Tam Harbert, the following IT jobs will be increased or created as a result of big data:
Data scientists: The top dogs in big data. This role is probably closest to what the McKinsey report calls "deep analytical talent." Some companies are creating high-level management positions for data scientists. Many of these people come out of math or traditional statistics. Some have backgrounds or degrees in artificial intelligence, natural language processing or data management.
Data architects: Programmers who are good at working with messy data, disparate types of data, undefined data and lots of ambiguity. They may be people with traditional programming or business intelligence backgrounds, and are often familiar with statistics programs. They need the creativity and persistence to be able to harness the data in new ways to create new insights.
Data visualizers: Technologists who translate analytics into information a business can use. They harness the data and put it in context, in layman's language, exploring what the data means and how it will impact the company. They need to be able to understand and communicate with all parts of the business, including C-level executives.
Data change agents: People who drive changes in internal operations and processes based on data analytics. They may come from a Six Sigma background, but also have the communications skills to translate jargon into terms others can understand.
Data engineer/operators: The designers, builders and managers of the big data infrastructure. They develop the architecture that helps analyze and supply data in the way the business needs, and make sure systems are performing smoothly.
Companies need to be prepared to hire data related positions in the near future. Being able to make sense of customer purchasing behavior and preferences will be extremely important to organizations and their success going forward.
Big data isn't the only trend affecting the IT industry. Download our tech guide to learn about the other technologies that are changing the dynamic IT industry.