The Evolution of the Data Professional and You

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Two big questions are on the minds of data professionals these days. How are increasing complexity and the inevitable onslaught of big data shaping the future of database administrators and data architects? How will our roles change?

In the interest of studying the evolving landscape of data, the Independent Oracle User’s Group (IOUG) took the pulse of the community. The Big Data Skills for Success study polled numerous individuals in the IOUG Oracle technology community, to identify just how the responsibilities of handling data are changing and what the future of these roles looks like. From these findings, it is clear that many data professionals are taking on responsibilities that are more associated with analyst and data scientist roles in addition to their existing role. In fact, half of the respondents aspire to become a data scientist in the future.

Big Data Infrastructure Skills are in Demand

According to the study, which will be released in full by the IOUG in the next few months, 39% of respondents predict the amount of their time spent on high-level business intelligence and analytics tasks will increase over the next 5 years; and 51% see advanced data administrative tasks following suit. In other words, the skills in growing demand are not only core data scientist skills but also the skills required to design and operate the required big data infrastructure and technical processes. The study confirmed: A majority of today’s data professionals actively engage with both business and IT to develop both data strategies and policies.

But what can we as data professionals do as to not be left behind? As Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

Two decades ago, many mathematicians and physicists moved to Wall Street to apply quantitative analysis and statistical methods to the financial world. Later called “quants,” we can think of these professionals as data scientists of the financial markets. Quants started to harness the power of numbers, which in turn increased the demand for professionals who build and manage the underlying data infrastructure. As the influx of big data continues to climb, so to will the demand for savvy data scientists increase. The history seems to repeat itself on the larger scale with data scientists not only becoming one of the hottest jobs but also generating new demand for big data infrastructure management professionals.

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