Demand for Data Analysts on the Rise

Thanks to the explosive growth of big data in recent years, data analytics is a booming business that is creating countless employment opportunities for data analysts. Companies are intensifying their search to fill jobs in big data but are struggling to find enough qualified professionals to meet the demand. According to Gartner Inc., a global information technology research and advisory company, jobs in big data are expected to reach 4.4 million worldwide in 2015, and the number one problem will continue to be finding the talent to fill the open positions.

A recent study of big data hiring trends using WANTED Analytics showed that from 2013 to 2014, demand for computer systems analysts with big data expertise jumped 89.9 percent, demand for marketing managers rose 84.8 percent, the need for market research analysts and marketing specialists increased 56.4 percent, and there was a 123.6 percent jump in demand for information technology project managers. A new list by CareerCast says some of the best jobs of 2016 include data scientists, software engineers and computer systems analysts. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts employment of data analysts and business analysts will grow by 22 percent by 2020.

Top Industries for Data Analysts

The five leading industries with the most job openings requiring big data expertise, according to WANTED Analytics, include professional, scientific and technical services (27.14 percent); information technologies (18.89 percent); manufacturing (12.35 percent); retail trade (9.62 percent); and sustainability, waste management and remediation services (8.2 percent). Other industries capitalizing on big data analytics include healthcare, banking, media, insurance, agriculture and nonprofits. Companies hiring data analysts — as well as data architects, business intelligence analysts and database managers — within these industries require people with strong analytical, quantitative and problem-solving skills along with solid knowledge of database theory and practice who can improve the company’s performance, yield and competitiveness.

How can these professionals with big data know-how help an organization succeed? Data analysts and other big data specialists in healthcare organizations gather and analyze patient information that can provide better, more efficient and less expensive care; map strategic planning for services and facilities; and even spot problems and illnesses before they occur. Retailers can use data analytics to determine how to better staff and stock their stores, what is causing each store’s performance strengths and weaknesses, and how to create a more personalized shopping experience. Manufacturers can better forecast product demand and production, understand plant performance, and provide service and support to customers faster.

To keep up with the demand and fill the need for companies hiring data analysts and other well-qualified individuals with higher understanding of analytics, colleges and universities are developing master’s degrees in business analytics. Some of these are MBA programs that offer specialized concentrations in information systems management, data collection and data reporting, statistical methodologies, econometrics, optimization, database design and strategic database marketing. An MBA in business analytics can prepare students to take on careers in this growing field. With this profession’s high earnings potential, competition for jobs should remain strong in the coming years.

Learn more about the University of Tennessee Chattanooga online MBA in Business Analytics program.


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