"Big" hardly seems large enough to describe big data these days. With connected devices like Fitbits and smartphones, massive amounts of data are created every day at an exponential rate. But the sheer size of big data isn't what is most impressive; it's the gold mine of business insights it offers when analyzed.
For young professionals with big data analytics degrees, the field offers almost limitless potential and a wide range of careers from which to choose. Here's a look at a few of these emerging careers.
Big Data Architects. It's one thing to brainstorm innovative products, like Siri or a smart refrigerator, but it's another to bring those ideas to life. Similar to a construction architect, a data architect designs the framework of the latest technology and data systems, determining the structural requirements needed to securely store an abundance of information. With the demand for both immediacy and privacy, a data architect must develop a system that considers future roadblocks, such as storage and data sharing.
As the competition for innovation increases, data architects will be responsible for both the short-term and long-term technology vision for their companies. Aside from a comprehensive education, employers look for candidates with a vast knowledge of database languages like SQL, NoSQL, Python and SPSS.
Data Scientists. One part statistician and one part software engineer, a data scientist is the brains behind data interpretation. Data scientists take massive amounts of data and whittle them down into concise statistics to use in predictive and prescriptive modeling. From there, the data scientist can generate valuable insights that improve business performance. As an example of data science, the Uber surge charge on New Year's Eve was determined by a data scientist after measuring analytical trends within the current landscape.
Equipped with sharp problem-solving skills and a healthy dose of creativity, data scientists are a tremendous asset to all industries.
Big Data Managers. Managing data architects, scientists and a full team of technicians – not to mention managing the actual data – requires a data manager to oversee all processes and communicate day-to-day operations to company leadership. A data manager knows the intricacies of the tech world as well as the overall corporate strategy. They're the jacks of all trades, if not the master of all.
A data manager is responsible for organizing the data being produced, ensuring quality, implementing strategy, and then reporting back to leadership. They leverage insights provided by data scientists to recommend new products, predict future roadblocks and streamline business logistics. In addition to experience in Hadoop and Hive, this high-level role requires cross-functional skills such as programming and management. As companies continue to adapt to newer systems, the demand for someone to coordinate data processes will continue to increase as well.
The technology revolution is not slowing down. Our world is becoming more connected by the minute, creating tremendous growth and opportunity in the field of big data analytics. If you know someone who is looking for a career that will let them transform the future of technology – and earn big bucks while doing it –- a job in big data could be the ticket to success.