As we come to the close of 2014, we thought you might be interested in hearing about the trends we see entering 2015 within the business analytics world. Stay tuned over the next six weeks as we provide trend and compensation information in Smith Hanley’s other recruiting specialties: Pharmaceuticals, Direct and Digital Marketing, Information Technology, Market Research and Consumer Credit.

Data Scientist – As much as this title has been bandied about in 2014, candidates with real experience in this space are few and far between or only found in Silicon Valley. A true Data Scientist will have at least 2-3 years of experience in predictive modeling, machine learning, management of structured and unstructured data, data visualization and very strong programming skills. Being able to understand the impact of big data on the business they are working in allows data scientists to command salaries starting at $130K. Other candidates trying to break into this field are typically predictive modelers trying to add a level of software sophistication to their skillset. These software skills should include the Hadoop/Map Reduce framework, Pig & Hive and, of course, a proficiency with SQL and R or SAS.

Digital Analytics – These positions focus on the reporting and analysis of online and mobile data. Querying skills using SQL and expertise in one of the data management tools like Tableau, Omniture, Google Analytics, or Web Trends is critical. Predictive modeling utilizing this data is a must. Junior candidates can command $80K base salaries, and as the years of experience go up salaries at $200K are possible.

Insurance – This industry is making up for lost time. Multiple companies are in the midst of building large data science/predictive modeling groups. Insurance companies have many Actuarial Scientists on staff with very strong statistical training, but actuarial science is an estimation science and real data is now available. With deep financial resources and almost unlimited data to analyze, look for these modeling groups to grow exponentially over the next few years.

Management Consulting – Yes, they still hire the best and brightest MBAs, but those MBAs are running into data savvy clients who want an analytical expertise not available at most Management Consulting companies or in most MBA programs. Without the in-house ability to analyze the terabytes of data available, Management Consulting is realizing they are missing an opportunity to participate in the big data boom. Joining one of these internal resource groups at a Management Consulting company requires top-notch predictive modeling and data management skills but also stronger communication skills and business savvy than is the norm in the data analytics industry.

We would be happy to discuss any of these trends or your needs for 2015 further. As always, Smith Hanley Associates is happy to be your recruiting resource for all things analytical, direct marketing, information technology and market research. Have a very Happy Holiday!

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