OK, so your company has taken a big step toward operating more efficiently by implementing a business intelligence (BI) solution—or it’s planning to install one in the near future. But if that’s the case then you’re probably also going to have to enlist the help of a new type of worker—a “data geek”—to make sense of all that BI data.
At least that’s the opinion of Jorge Garcia, a research analyst at Technology Evaluation Centers Inc. Organizations that use business analytics software can improve their decision-making processes if they have the right set of tools and the right people—those data geeks—in place, Garcia says.
In a recent blog post, Garcia points to a poll conducted by KDnuggets that indicates salaries in the analytics and data mining space are up in 2011. And according to a Gartner report, the BI and analytics market is expected to reach $10.8 billion in 2011. Gartner’s view is that the market for BI will continue to be one of the fastest growing software markets despite the lack of economic growth in most regions as “organizations continue to turn to BI as a vital tool for smarter, more agile and efficient business.”
Garcia says that means companies are looking for ways to better manage their data so they can get a better view of the organization and make more informed business decisions. Many large organizations use the most up-to-date BI solutions to help them make the best business decisions, but some small to medium-size businesses are just starting to investigate using BI for data analysis and to support their business decisions, Garcia says. And they’re also using more tools to interpret data from a wider variety of sources.
According to Garcia, it’s only natural that the increase in the adoption of BI software and the demand for analytics should increase the need for specialists in the area of BI or business analytics, although he admits there’s no direct proof to back that up.
Data geeks collect and analyze large amounts of data then report on the results. So, Garcia says, it’s important to select the right person for the job.
According to Garcia, these are some of the things you should look for in a data geek:
- A strong background in computer science. Your data geek must have the skills to collect the data, which include knowing about databases, networking, and Web programming technologies (XML, HTML, etc.)
- Knowledge of statistics and mathematics. To analyze the data, your data geek has to know statistics and the software to manipulate them to develop an analysis
- Data visualization skills. Your data geek should understand graphs, maps, and charts, as well a dashboards, scorecards, data mashups, and even Excel workbooks to get the right information to the right people
- The ability to use all his skills to increase the ROI of your BI solutions
- A person who can adapt to the continual changes in the BI space.
If you want to make the best use of your BI application and create value for your organization, Garcia says you need the right people. And that includes a least one data geek.
Spotfire Blogging Team