Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Predictions for the 2014 Analytics Hiring Market

Thanks in part to the media coverage of Big Data, analytics has become inescapable. To those who have worked in and around this industry for years this information is nothing new - merely more visible. Every day I’m hearing about more and more businesses warming to the idea that there are actionable insights readily available in their data if they know how to use it.

It is an exciting time to be a statistician, data scientist, or analytics professional, and if you thought 2013 was big, 2014 promises to be even bigger. Without further ado, here are my top predictions for the analytics hiring market:

1.)  Real-time analytics becomes increasingly important to business intelligence – Industries like the gaming industry already give their customers incentives in real-time and retailers are quickly moving toward real-time couponing. Those of you with real-time data experience will be in high-demand for these growing roles.

2.) Data scientists will be embedded in analytics groups – In addition to analysts who can build complex models, there will be an increasing need for data scientists, who with their background in analytics and computer science can wrangle massive, unstructured data sets. Companies hoping to extract the full benefit from their data sets will need a combination of both groups.

3.) If you don’t have digital you will be a dinosaur! - If your skill set doesn’t already include digital analytics your career plan should be to get experience and soon. Without it your skills will become outdated and obsolete.

4.) Sentiment analysis will continue to erode traditional survey methods – Use of social media data and other “free sources” has the opportunity to overtake traditional survey methods, which will impact the marketing research talent landscape.

5.)  Corporations will bring on internal staff to replace high paid consultants- Consultants got the ball rolling, and now companies will seek to take on full time staff.

6.) However, this will not adversely affect the consulting industry – Demand is so high for analytics experts (and continuing to grow) that there will still be companies looking to small and large consulting firms. Despite some companies hiring full time staff, the consulting industry will continue to experience growth. Heavy travel schedules will continue to be the norm for these opportunities.

7.) The trend towards wearables and PEDs will create new positions- If the buzz from CES2014 is to be believed, the wearables trend is increasing. As with any new technology that creates massive amounts of data, analytics positions will be created in the industry to make sense of and capitalize on all that information.

8.) Startups’ grip on the hiring market will loosen- I have spoken with candidates who have worked with many failed startups, and I think that this year the tendency towards hopping from failed startup to failed startup will begin to shake out. Candidates who have been through the failed startup cycle will begin to realize that to build a career it will be important to learn from an established group.

9.) Graduates from the new analytics programs will begin to hit the job market - This is not so much a prediction as it is inevitable, and I am very interested to see how well these new programs have prepared their students to enter the quantitative workforce.

What trends do you think we will see in the analytics hiring market? Let me know what you think in the comments below.