Wanted: experts in Big Data
Some of the most sought-after professions are data analysts, database administrators, data science experts, data architects, database managers and Big Data engineers.
Snapshot of a data analyst
- Analysts are much more than Excel experts: “Big Data is not everything that's analyzed on an Excel sheet, and an analyst is not just someone who knows how to draw graphs on it”, says Julia Díaz, director of Health and Energy Predictive Innovation at IIC (Instituto de Ingeniería del Conocimiento).
- Profiles with a background in mathematics and computer science: according to Miren Gutiérrez, head of the expert program entitled ‘Data analysis, research and communication’ at Deusto University: “It's possible for one person to master several skills, but a large project can ultimately only be tackled in a group where everyone deploys their special skills and experience at the service of the others”.
- They must be able to work in a team: whether you're a government employee who needs to convey information to the public, a data journalist or the campaign manager for an NGO, the most effective method is to bring together different fields so that the data analysis has greater validity.
- There are also analysts from the humanities: the best analysts do not have to be computer experts, mathematicians or specialists in statistics, as long as they can find a story in the data.
- They must be embedded in the social context and pursue a social utility: data have to be analyzed with a target in mind and based on a social, technological, economic and scientific framework.
- They must be deeply curious and have the ability to think outside the box.
- They work for civil society: they mobilize and empower people.
Today there are several training programs at both the national and international level to learn how to be an analyst in any of several different categories. There are also a large number of courses and tutorials, in addition to open programs available on the Internet for anyone who wants to learn on their own.
The Financial Times estimates that over 50,000 jobs related to the sector will be created every year until 2020.
A research work by the consulting company Robert Walters indicates that almost half of all employers plan to increase the number of workers in this sector.
But there will not only be more jobs on offer. There will also be significant salary hikes. The rise in salaries is a partial result of the scarcity of the offer of people specialized in data. This imbalance in the Big Data labor market is a matter of great concern to the industry.
The financial sector has a particularly high demand for this type of professionals. The benefits for the sector include the fight against fraud and risk management.
The figures point to a growing awareness among companies of the various benefits that can be achieved from the management and use of data, and highlight new opportunities for future professionals.
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