Posted by Robert Half on 15 May 2015
Bring the data wizards on board to make your company grow
For the most part, companies are aware of their need for big data analytics in understanding its customers, and how essential data mining is. Ask any of the 810 Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) that participated in our latest survey. 96% of the respondents stated that their companies engage in data collection. (Download the Robert Half 2015 IT Salary Guide: Hong Kong | Japan | Shanghai | Singapore)
But what can data about customers’ buying habits – including where, how and why they want a product – do for a company? The problem lies with how the data is being put to use. Though business decisions made by companies have been reliant on data, 20% of the respondents surveyed admitted that the data is untapped. An absolute pity, given how a company can identify the buying trends of consumers from a quick analysis of the numbers. By making sense of the numbers, a well-targeted campaign will be more effective, raising the profit margins of business decisions and reducing the associated risks at the same time.
Now is a good time as any for companies to actively recruit these data wizards. This is an unusually broad category as data analysis is not limited to one specific feature. The likely candidates should preferably have been employed as one of the following:
- Solutions architect
- Data consultant
- Process improvement head or specialist
Besides setting the search criteria based on one of the abovementioned data analytics professionals, the recruitment department should suss out some essential core skills from likely candidates. The most basic criterion is the ability to understand statistical concepts and apply the knowledge on statistical software for reporting.
Not one job fits all though. Trends vary according to each market, a point that needs to be closely monitored by the companies. While Hong Kong has proven to be a hotbed for data crunchers in the realm of cloud computing, Singapore has shown a high demand for IT professionals in the finance sector. But the most interesting market to date is Japan. Besides the boost by its Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ‘Abenomics’, the Japanese market is looking strong in the areas of online and digital marketing. With it, the need to make sense of the big data that comes with it, from customer preference to buying habits, drive the demand for proven professionals with strong data analytics skills.
Hoping to build a career as a data analyst? Getting better at the job is just as essential. Understanding the latest data analysis methodology and process is a constant learning process. More importantly, each industry has its own unique problems, so a quick mind towards adaptive application is a huge advantage.
For employers and employees alike, do not neglect the soft skill aspect. This is especially important when one needs to communicate the meaning behind the numbers. An effective communication ability to simplify the meaning behind the data and convince both internal and external parties of its importance is crucial.
The truth is, there is no lack of big data analytics professionals, what with the focus on using data to do effective marketing, not just offline but also digitally via social media platforms. The trick is to find one that sifts through a mountain of data and applies the knowledge to boost the business profile.
If anything, the market is stronger than ever for IT professionals. The abovementioned points are a primer to get you started on understanding the nuances and need for big data analytics. And more importantly, how you can fit into the bigger picture.