Big Data Jobs Are About to Explode

By | Feb 6, 2013

With each passing day, midsize organizations accumulate more and more data, either through new innovations using existing infrastructure or through new endeavors like cloud computing. As the value of all this data starts to become clear, there is going to be a big push for personnel who can effectively manage the information. Businesses who don't want to be left out in the cold need to start thinking about data specialists today.

Big Data Jobs

The exponential growth of cloud computing in the last few years has had an important, if not completely unexpected, effect on the data industry. The unprecedented availability of computing power and storage space has allowed organizations of all sizes to amass some fairly large data stores, and those businesses are just now realizing how valuable all that data is.

As noted in this IT Pro article, industry watcher Gartner predicts that by 2016 a full 30 percent of businesses will trade, barter, or outright sell their information assets. This will wind up creating an enormous market where one barely exists today, and the people who are going to be able to run that market are going to be in very high demand.

The demand will be so high, in fact, that many are predicting an upcoming skills gap where qualified people will be far outpaced by the available positions. Some experts have predicted that the U.S. will need almost 200,000 more big data experts and more than a million more data-savvy managers by 2018, according to this Federal Times article. There's almost no conceivable way for the existing tech population to fulfill these specific, demanding needs in such a short amount of time.

Focusing on the Future

The importance of all of this data isn't in the information itself, although even unstructured data will be considered a tangible asset in the near future, but in the intelligence that can be gained by analyzing the data. This is why the upcoming big data jobs will be so important, as it's these people who will turn unstructured information into the analytics that companies will use to succeed going forward.

The difference between the future demands of big data and the availability of people to fulfill those demands is going to create a skills gap that could seriously endanger the innovation in the tech space. Companies may wind up with petabytes of information languishing on their storage devices or in the cloud with no real way of divining actionable information from that data.

IT managers at midsize businesses, who often don't have the available cash to make experimental hires, are going to find it difficult to fill this role in the near future. That's why businesses like IBM that offer comprehensive analytics services stand poised for growth in the coming years. Midsize businesses are simply generating too much information to handle on their own right now but, at the same time, can't afford to let the data go to waste. With big data experts at a premium, partnering may be the best option available.

There's very few givens in the tech world, as so many things change from year-to-year or even month-to-month, but one thing almost every industry observer agrees on is that businesses have just seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how data analytics can change the business world. The next few years are going to see an explosion in this space, and the businesses that correctly predicted and planned for this explosion stand to profit the most.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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