Posted

Thank you again to those of you who attended my webinar presentation on The Burtch Works Study – a comprehensive look at the salaries and demographics of Big Data professionals. In case you missed it, The Burtch Works Study and webinar presentation are available here.

Due to the volume of questions I received during the webinar (we had over 750 registrants) I decided to share some of my insights on my blog in two parts, Part 1 is available here.

10.) Are you seeing salaries for non-Big Data (e.g., market research, smaller scale database or CRM analysts) increasing as a side effect of Big Data demand?

LB:  Not yet, but we’ll keep an eye out since we cover those areas too.

11.) I am working in a company that is just beginning to realize the benefits of big data; any suggestions for how to further present the benefits of data and Big Data professionals to a company that so far has not thought it was worth the cost? (Especially how to negotiate salary for data professionals.)

LB: Great question! The payoff for investing in the right Big Data professional is the difference between an ineffective, costly foray into Big Data and a successful and brand-strengthening opportunity. I would highly recommend investigating and presenting specific insights related to your industry. There are new examples every day of companies who are using this wealth of information to their advantage. I would also emphasize that soon the time to gain an edge on the competition will have passed and your company may find itself trying to catch up instead of being a front-runner in the industry. Be diligent about staying abreast of new developments and make sure to network. When you are given the chance, tackle a small project first, rather than going after a big, lengthy project that might not show any results for months. Choose a smaller project where you can quickly get some encouraging reports  that will help to show  that this is worth investing more time (and money!) in, and allow you more time to go after a bigger, more influential project. As for salary negotiations, a couple of my contacts have already used excerpts from our study as support for the case within their organizations for higher salaries within analytics.

12.) When it comes to recruiting candidates, does age play a role as gender does?

LB: In my opinion it has more to do with attitude, energy, commitment and the ability to change and grow. Companies want to hire someone who is capable of adapting to the changes happening every day in the industry and who will be able to capitalize on new opportunities.

13.) Story Telling is a big part of Analytics in any organization. It is an art and a science…Can a Data Scientist play this role?

LB:  Absolutely. Story-telling and strong communication skills are critical for success in analytics. The most successful people in this role can work in a quantitative, technical way as well as selling their ideas to a non-technical audience. I wouldn’t say that one quality is necessarily better to have than the other, but having both makes you a very strong candidate.

14.) There seems to be a lot of tension within and around corporations these days with regards to where the data resides and where it should reside. The data belongs to the company but within the company where does it belong? And if the bulk of a company’s customer-centric data is moved out of IT does this mean the people who work in IT are less valuable or expendable?

LB: You’re right in that there’s tension in the industry around this issue, mainly because it’s become front and center. From my perspective, I think it’s extremely important that the relationship between the head of IT and the head of analytics is a strong one. If data is moved out of IT I don’t think that makes IT people more expendable.  Anyonethat works for a corporation is expendable, and the best way to manage this is to ensure that your skills are up-to-date and marketable in the long run.

15.) Why is it never a good idea to accept a counter offer?  I understand that a few people would be annoyed, but isn’t that a common outcome?

LB: The number one reason people make the decision to leave is because they want a new challenge or a new environment. Money sometimes plays a part but should not be the only reason. If money is the number one reason you should talk to your boss before going on the market because accepting counter offers is generally frowned upon. It’s a small world and the last thing you want to do is burn any bridges during a transition.

16.)  Many of the Analytics Management roles I see posted require deep SAS skills, but do you see growth in roles for those who understand analytics and the applications to solve business problems? Ideally managing a team of analytic professionals but focusing more on strategic goals rather than modeling and being an analytic coach?

LB:  I am definitely noticing growth in this area, which I call “Analytics Management” – people who are savvy with numbers and insights, but don’t necessarily have the deep modeling and statistical skills of traditional analytics professionals. The most valuable however, can manage, lead and coach with hands-on skills.

17.)  I am definitely noticing growth in this area, which I call “Analytics Management” – people who are savvy with numbers and insights, but don’t necessarily have the deep modeling and statistical skills of traditional analytics professionals. The most valuable however, can manage, lead and coach with hands-on skills.

LB: I would advise identifying what specifically is making you unhappy so you can possibly come to a resolution with your boss. If a satisfying compromise can’t be made, then perhaps it’s time to update your LinkedIn profile and start looking!

18.)  I’ve established myself as a strong candidate and am receiving offers, but I want to make sure that I land the ideal fit: I don’t want to get locked into a job that will exhaust me and my family!

LB:  It’s a great question because it’s a difficult one, especially when you are in demand! Considering your desire for work/life balance, as general rule avoid consulting, finance or startups and make sure to discuss your concern with your potential hiring manager to get a feel for the company culture. Feel free to reach out us if we can help you evaluate a role, even if it’s not through us!

At Burtch Works we are always looking for trends within the analytics field, so be sure to check back and see if we have posted any new research results!

 

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