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6 Career Opportunities Provided by Big Data

Big data hasn’t just changed the face of business, science, medicine, and marketing: it has also made huge waves in the fields of human resources and talent acquisition. Entire new career paths are opening up in response to the demand for people to collect, manage, analyze, and make decisions based on big data. Of course you’re familiar with data analysts and data scientists, so there’s no need to rehash those. These are the career opportunities opened up by big data that you may not have heard of yet.

1. Data Visualization Experts

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A data visualization expert has the technical savvy to understand the analytics plus the artistic skills to present it attractively and accurately.

All the data analysis in the world is meaningless unless it’s put forth in a way that is easy to understand, even for the non-techies. This is where data visualization comes in. Data viz experts take the hard facts and scientific or mathematical results that data analysis produces and places it into a form that is easy to understand, digest, and make decisions upon. Data visualization is far more than putting facts into charts and graphs — it involves finding creative ways to present lots of information in an easy-to-grasp format. Charts, graphs, videos, presentations, infographics … there are numerous ways to present analytical results, and the data viz expert finds the best way for each unique situation.

2. Change Agents

This career is so new that there isn’t really an agreed-upon title for it just yet. A change agent is the person who will evaluate the results of data analysis and determine what changes the data indicates. The change agent might also oversee the transition from the old way of doing things to the new way, based on the results of data analysis. Sometimes a change agent might be an executive, while other times they might hold no more than a manager’s title.

3. Data Operators

In addition to the “golly gee wowzer” data analysts and scientists, organizations will also need workers to maintain the daily run-of-the-mill routines of running the infrastructures housing and processing the big data. This is the job for data operators. These professionals will oversee the equipment maintenance, software updates, and perhaps the security measures required to house, process, transmit, and analyze big data.

4. Data Stewards

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A data steward will oversee how data is handled within an organization, much like a referee.

While the data operator oversees the infrastructure necessary to store and analyze big data, data stewards will be necessary to keep track of what data the organization holds, who retains ownership and responsibility for the data, and how the data is used throughout the organization. This title will likely be different among organizations, the position will nonetheless be critical.

5. Hadoop Programmers

When it comes to offloading, data transfer, ETL, and other issues involved in setting up and running Hadoop clusters, organizations will need to invest in programmers skilled in Hadoop and Java, on which it is based. Additionally, many organizations will want to leverage proprietary Hadoop solutions or develop custom solutions in order to do what they want to do with big data. Hadoop programmers are already at a high demand, and this demand is expected to rise significantly in the years to come.

6. NoSQL Programmers

NoSQL databases are preferable to the standard SQL when it comes to big data, which consists of lots of unstructured data that doesn’t fit well into relational databases. A NoSQL database is not just different from SQL, it requires an entirely different way of thinking about how databases are organized and built. Big data will definitely drive up the need for NoSQL programmers who can think outside the age-old relational database model.

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