Eight Key Big Data Roles (And Who Can Fill Them)

More data confirming the shortage of big data experts: a survey of Australian employers suggests 78 per cent are having trouble filling those positions. Here are the eight key roles that are needed and the background required to fill them effectively.

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Research by talent solutions company Hudson amongst its Australian clients suggests the shortage is ongoing. “People who can blend deep technical expertise, business and analytical skills, an understanding of the market and the customer represent nirvana in terms of big data talent,” Hudson Asia Pacific Mark Steyn CEO said in a statement.

“Unfortunately these individuals are in short supply. This presages a skills crisis of vast proportions and is forcing organisations to look outside the usual supply network for talent.” (We noted a similar trend recently when we suggested studying chemistry was a potentially useful background for a big data career.)

As part of its research, Hudson also commissioned a report examining how to more effectively tackle big data projects. From an IT pro perspective, one of the most interesting elements in that report is a breakdown of the roles which are needed in a big data project and where those staff might come from. Here’s the full table:

ROLE CORE FOCUS LIKELY BACKGROUND VALUE PROVIDED
1. Analytics Team Lead Lead the team and define strategic direction Analytics management Ensure value creation and interface with management
2. Advanced Analytics Modeller Develop and maintain predictive models Statistics, business analytics Deliver insight through predictive models
3. Ad Hoc Analytics Analyst Respond to ad hoc queries from the business Reporting Assist the business with ongoing insight
4. Domain Expert Provide business-level experience and acumen Business Ensure relevancy of insight
5. Data Steward Standardise analytical data and encourage automation Data modelling, data warehousing Minimise data management overhead
6. Analytics Process Designer Create and enforce reusable and common processes Management consulting Increase repeatability and reduce execution time
7. Monitoring/ Validation Analyst Establish and enforce common measures within the measurement platform Performance management or finance business analytics Measure value and optimise focus
8. Deployment Specialist Ensure fast and robust model deployment Data warehousing Reduce time to market and interface with IT

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