If you haven’t heard by now, data is big and is only going to get bigger. And the demand for those who can collect, crunch and curate that data is getting bigger, too — much bigger.
But while the demand for employees well-versed in data analysis might be massive, the supply is limited. According to Gartner, an industry research firm, more than half of the businesses they surveyed said they could not find the talent to perform the data analytics they needed.
Evan Donaldson, who works for the recruiting firm Talentry, said locally there is a huge demand for big data analysts as well as for those who can analyze business data on a smaller scale. That translates into a real opportunity for anyone who is interested in getting into this lucrative and growing field.
“When there is a huge demand and not enough supply, it opens doors. If you can do the job, employers will say ‘I don’t care what you majored in, I’ll hire you,’” Donaldson said.
Angel Evan, who is a partner in Modus Operandi, a digital marketing firm, quickly realized that he needed to do a better job of data analysis if he was going to stay ahead of the competition.
“I saw what was happening, and I knew I needed a more sophisticated tool set to make smarter business decisions for our clients,” he said.
To get those skills, he signed up for UC San Diego Extension’s Data Mining certificate because it provided a learning environment that offered the right mix of theory and application. Even before he completed the program, Evan was creating datasets and designing algorithms to offer up predictive analytics — essentially forecasting future consumer behavior by analyzing past actions — on everything from social media strategies to customer profiles.
While predictive analytics is the future, Donaldson said plenty of small businesses need help making sense of the data they already collect. For anyone interested in a career in big data, those jobs are a great first step.
“Anthony’s Fish Grotto doesn’t need a big data scientist,” Donaldson said. “But doing business analysis for a small company will expose you to the skills needed in a big data environment.”
To fill that need, UC San Diego Extension just announced a new Business Intelligence Analysis certificate program that will teach how to collect and store data and then translate it into actionable information.
For more information about both certificates, visit UC San Diego Extension’s website.