Industry Insights

Background image of user typing on a calculator with floating interface elements surrounding them

Are 2020 Bonuses Disrupted for Data Scientists, Analytics Pros, & Marketing Researchers?

January 19, 2021

With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting so much of the economy and hiring market in 2020, many have been wondering what the impacts will be to salaries and bonuses.In mid-December, we sent a quick flash survey to our network of data scientists, analytics professionals, and marketing researchers to ask them about their 2020 end-of-year bonuses.

We found that 20% of respondents were getting their bonus “as expected”, meaning a bonus in a roughly similar amount to what they would normally anticipate. 11% said that they were still getting a bonus, but it was smaller than expected, while 15% said their bonus was actually greater than they would have expected (noted as bonus plus in the chart above).The largest portion of respondents – 29% – said they were not receiving a bonus for 2020, and 26% were still uncertain at that point. For many firms, what the bonuses look like may still be unknown until some point in the first quarter.Since this is the first year we’ve asked this particular question, we don’t have historical data to compare to previous years, but we thought this information would still be helpful to those wondering how many of their colleagues are getting bonuses this year.

Additional Trends & the Pandemic’s Impact

As we mentioned in our salary studies for 2020, because the pandemic has had such widely varying impacts on companies within the same industry categories, we’ve held off on presenting industry-specific data. This is because even companies in the same industry category (CPG, for example) could either be booming or struggling based on which specific products they sell and how demand has been impacted by COVID-19.While it is normal for there to be some variation within industries in any given year, the pandemic has certainly exacerbated this to the extreme (for instance, live events and streaming services may both be classified under Entertainment, but are faring wildly differently because of the pandemic).That being said, we did have a few additional insights and trends to share, based on our conversations with hundreds of candidates and clients over the past few months. We spoke with all of our recruiters to get their insights from professionals on the ground about how different industries have been impacted.1. Anecdotally, many professionals that we spoke to at startups are not getting bonuses.2. Retailers and bonuses are a mixed bag: groceries, such as Target, Walmart, Amazon/Whole Foods, etc. are having a great year, but many others are not unless they are primarily ecommerce.3. Companies who primarily sell through ecommerce are doing very well, such as Wayfair and Lands’ End. However, many traditional brick and mortar retailers are still struggling.4. No one that we spoke with in Hospitality or Travel (two industries hit particularly hard by the pandemic) are getting bonuses. Same with Agencies, since some have lost clients whose businesses were negatively impacted by the pandemic.5. As one might expect, many Pharmaceutical companies are giving bonuses.6. Not surprisingly, Healthcare and Tech seem to be doing well on the whole on the West Coast. One candidate in Tech shared that his company prematurely laid people off in March/April at the beginning of the pandemic, but that at this point the company has pretty much fully recovered and have resumed hiring.7. Restaurants and Hospitality were hit hard and are likely not getting bonuses. CPG seems to be split – some are doing well and others are so-so depending on the category, where some divisions like cleaning supplies and toilet paper are doing very well.8. A lot of Market Research suppliers have been hit hard, but there have been some with unique offerings, who may be on the smaller side and have carved out a niche (for example, in a thriving segment like ecommerce), that have done very well.As the market continues to evolve quickly, our goal is to continue to be a conduit of information to keep you informed! Make sure to check back for additional updates, as we have several additional research pieces coming up in the next few weeks.

Interested in our salary research on data science, predictive analytics, and market research professionals? Download our studies using the button below.

Click to download our free salary reports

Want to learn more about 2021 predictions and trends, plus how they will impact data science & analytics careers and hiring? Check out the webinar recording below!