Top Skills Companies Want on their Big Data Teams

June 20th, 2014

What skills and attributes are employers looking for as they build their Big Data dream teams? And where will you fit in?

Turning Data into Business Insights

Today’s employers are looking to build well-rounded Big Data teams that combine business and IT skills across a group of individuals. While hard technical skills are a necessity, successful candidates also need well-rounded capabilities in communications, presentation, team building and problem solving.

  • In a recent survey, 35 percent of senior managers said creativity was the most important attribute they looked for in analysts and data scientists.
  • Forty-three percent of respondents demand technical IT skills and 33 percent are looking at the business analyst community as they craft their Big Data teams.

As noted by Dan Quine, CEO of the concert tracking website Songkick, “We believe skills and creativity are at least as important as pure technical skills for data scientists. Data analysis always takes place in the context of business strategy and decisions. As such, data scientists have to understand what business problems they are solving and how their work advances the company’s goals.”

He concludes that well-honed analytical skills will always be a requirement, but that such skills will be “useless unless the results are understandable by everyone in the company and have a clear impact on business success.”

What Employers Want

Analytics experts with the right stuff for mining Big Data are in high demand. Nearly two-thirds of companies surveyed recently by The Wall Street Journal said they plan to invest in Big Data technology this year. But technical skills alone are not enough to secure a candidate a top position. Requirements also include creative problem solving and good, old fashioned communication skills.

In high demand in today’s business environment are:

  • Software engineers: These professionals develop information systems by designing and installing software solutions. They are skilled at analyzing information, general programming and software documentation, testing, debugging, requirements and development fundamentals and processes.
  • Storage data (aka Big Data) architects: They are adept at using software to store and organize data, such as financial information and customer shipping records. They ensure that data is available to users and is secure from unauthorized access. Along with exceptional analytical skills, they have experience with SQL, scripting, and database modelling, backup and recovery.
  • Business analysts: These specialists propose ways to improve an organization’s efficiency by advising managers on how to become more profitable. They don’t necessarily need hard technical skills, but they must be able to understand technology well enough to communicate and negotiate with company leaders and business influencers.
  • Computer systems analysts: Their role is to study and organize computer systems and procedures and make recommendations to help companies operate more effectively. They bring business and IT together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.

Consider partnering with a coach from a specialized recruiting firm as you plot your Big Data career path. To learn more, read our related posts or contact the Select Group, Inc. today.

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