Why Big Data Jobs May Eventually Dry Up

Right now, big data skills are much in demand. But what will happen as software becomes sophisticated enough to handle many of those functions?

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This topic came up during a Cisco media event in Sydney yesterday after Cisco Australia CTO Kevin Bloch noted the current huge demand for people with analytics and big data skills. IBRS analyst James Turner pointed out that history suggested that eventually much of the current custom work being performed to enable this kind of analysis would be built directly into software platforms:

The mathematics will eventually be done at the software level. All the stuff will be on menus so you don't have to do it yourself.

That's a logical assumption: we saw the same pattern on a smaller scale in spreadsheets, which now routinely include built-in functions for what would have once required highly specialised coding. At that juncture, big data roles are likely to focus on business outcomes, not technology needs.

Nonetheless, we haven't reached that point yet, and the need to standardise data sources before they can be effectively interrogated suggests there will be tech-centric roles in this area for some time to come. What do you think? Tell us in the comments.


    Valid assumption -- the progression of all technology is to make it more accessible, and therefore cost less, for all users.

    I only really see very large organisations and government departments being the users of big data. They have access to large enough data sets, and can justify the business case to invest in big data resources as any small improvement results in a big difference to the bottom line.
    Medium sized enterprise just won't see the value in it.

    There'll probably be companies that supply big data solutions to small and medium sized businesses, and they will probably include analysis as part of their package. A bit like management consultants, only not useless.

    I don't see there being a big data expert or team in every organisation, though. So the talk about jobs, jobs, jobs is maybe a little overenthusiastic.

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