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Singling Out the Data Signals
Big data and analytics jobs are big as those who work in these areas use info to single out the data signals and zero in on the trends to make the best business decisions.
The top two trending job titles in the U.S., as of October 2019 - mathematician and data engineer - are proof-positive that jobs in business analytics and big data are just that: big.
As businesses look to turn their massive amounts data into action, it’s a destination field. In addition, as fields where there are typically more jobs than there are job seekers, professionals those with a penchant for singling out the signal in the data noise have a wide range of opportunities from which to choose.
Here for professionals working in business analytics and big data share what makes these great fields with growing opportunities as more businesses rely on data trends to help make the best corporate decisions, and they discuss how to succeed in these fast-growing and in-demand areas.
Hall Delivers AI, Data Innovation for IBM
There’s no idea too large for Lakisha R.S. Hall and her organization. Hall is the director of delivery in North America for IBM’s data and AI expert labs and learning organization, where her team is responsible for the execution and implementation of solutions and services for a combined data and artificial intelligence (AI) portfolio.
Among these solutions is IBM Watson, the company’s suite of enterprise-ready AI services, applications and tooling that can run anywhere across hybrid multicloud environments.
“My organization has a client-facing role with both technical and management resources that implement data and AI solutions,” explains Hall, who took the role in December 2017. “Our work is to implement first-of-its-kind solutions for our customers.”
A dynamic leader, Hall views her role as two-fold: helping clients understand what’s possible with their data and AI journey, and putting the right experts in place at the right time.
“One thing our clients tell us is that what we offer allows them to be more curious,” shares Hall. “Instead of spending time on lower value or repeatable tasks, they can increase their efficiency and have these solutions do the work for them. It’s absolutely wonderful to give clients time back and increase their ROI.”
Hall earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Howard University and a minor in computer science, plus an MBA. But she fell in love with technology during her undergraduate program, which led her to her first career as a developer. And what led her to AI was her love of complex problems, but also her desire to be an expert.
“I wanted to be the expert. I wanted to take on the challenging solutions, be the first to get that new thing and conquer it,” she explains. “That’s what led me to AI.”
In total, Hall has worked Armonk, NY-headquartered IBM more than 20 years. She started with PwC Consulting, which was acquired by IBM in 2002.
“What’s kept me with IBM is the ability to reinvent one’s self, and the amazing way that you can have a very different and varied career and stay in the same company,” points out Hall, who also appreciates how the company has invested in her. For instance, they paid for her to complete her aforementioned MBA.
“That investment in me and my personal development, you can’t put a number on that.”
Hall offers young professionals some advice she received from a mentor in college: do what you love.
“It may sound cliché, but you spend so much time at work that you need to have a passion about what you do to be able to do it well,” contends Hall. “You should love the work you’re doing because you’re investing a great deal of time - and your life - to do it.”
She also recommends never stopping learning and being the best at your craft. But perhaps her top advice is being fearless and taking risks.
“I have to instill this in my team, as well: you’re the smartest person on the room. That confidence will bring you success. You may make mistakes, but then look back, learn, innovate and do something amazing again,” she counsels.
Particularly in data and AI, adds Hall, don’t forget about the importance of soft skills.
“We need to have a very sharp intersection with business and AI, and not only have technical skills, but also be client-focused, be consultative, and have excellent written and oral presentation skills. You have to be a storyteller,” she says, “so don’t forget the importance that soft skills play in technical success.”
Find career opportunities with IBM at careers.ibm.com. Connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
Dietzel Enables Others to Tell Stories with Data at Tableau
Steph Dietzel helps people tell stories with their data. Dietzel is a software engineer at Tableau, which provides interactive data visualization software, working to help people see and understand their data.
She specifically works with the web version of Tableau’s data visualization tool, called Tableau Online, which involves working with many different people and teams, and everything from planning and design to coding and testing.
While Dietzel’s team often builds tangible things for the tool like buttons and dialogs, good performance is equally important, and recently, the team worked to enhance the tool’s user experience.
“We noticed our application was computing a specific list of values way too often, which could slow down the application,” she outlines. “I cleaned up that code and ensured the application only builds that list when it’s really needed. This resulted in cleaner code, better test coverage and thousands of unused computations avoided every day!”
Dietzel says that she came to computer science “completely by chance.”
She explains: “Originally, I didn’t want to do it because I thought computer science was just reading random green text on a black screen like in movies. Later, in a required CS class, I realized that computer science is actually puzzles and creative problem-solving - and fun!”
Dietzel originally came to Seattle, WA-headquartered Tableau as an intern, and decided to join the company full-time because she liked the people and culture, the company mission, and the type of work she got to do.
“It’s been more than six years now, and I’ve stayed for those same reasons. Plus, along the way, I’ve discovered great mentors and opportunities for personal growth.”
What she enjoys most about her work is the satisfaction of creating: “When I’ve made something I’m excited to use myself, and then get to share it with our users and hope they like it too, that’s my favorite part of my job.”
To succeed in the STEM field, Dietzel advises others to ask questions. It also helps to have a willingness to learn.
“There are so many varied opportunities in the field,” she points out. “Along with some computer programming education, I think curiosity, willingness to learn and perseverance will always help new STEM professionals.”
Find career opportunities with Tableau at tableau.com/about/careers. Connect on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Karunakaran Uses Innovative Data & AI Solutions to Drive Business Decisions for Change Healthcare
Bipin Karunakaran and his teams look to data to drive action. “Along with my teams, I’m responsible for bringing disparate information sources across the enterprise into a single integrated information record,” elaborates Karunakaran, vice president of data management, business intelligence and innovation for Change Healthcare.
“Using this information, we provide various actionable analytics to all enterprise users, including retrospective, predictive and descriptive analytics.”
Headquartered in Nashville, TN, Change Healthcare provides revenue and payment cycle management and clinical information exchange solutions. There, Karunakaran’s team works on various high-profile projects that look at providing insights to help increase the ability of Change’s businesses to serve its customers in new, effective and cost-efficient ways.
For instance, Karunakaran’s team recently worked to provide actionable insights to company leaders to measure the health of all business lines across Change Healthcare’s revenue cycle management (RCM) business, to identify areas of strength, and to showcase opportunities to help drive strategy of bundling products and services for the RCM business.
“Analytic services developed modules for prediction of customer churn using artificial intelligence, and helped RCM business leaders to deploy targeted marketing and sales strategies where customer churn was more likely to occur,” he explains.
While working as a software engineer and building applications that powered the internet, Karunakaran realized the software engineering and data engineering fields had merged into one, and were central to making businesses succeed. From there, he started building big data applications that brought together digital user behavior across various web properties: “I was very excited to see this take shape and the outcomes. Since then, I haven’t stopped or moved away from working in the data and analytics space.”
With the company for about a year, Karunakaran was drawn to Change Healthcare by the chance to work in a field with great impact.
“I feel healthcare can make the most impact on population health and the quality of our lives,” he asserts. “There’s a huge opportunity for digital technologies, data, and analytics to put tools in the hands of providers and health systems to help provide the best care for the patients across the country. Change Healthcare is at the center of this digital revolution in healthcare.”
He also appreciates that vision the company and its leaders have in transforming healthcare using digital technology: “[Change Healthcare] is a fast-growing, mid-sized company that has start-up culture in terms of getting things done.”
For professionals interested in working in data, analytics, and AI, Karunakaran points out that while the context of analyzing digital data is a newer field, the same concepts of design and engineering that apply to technology apply to data and analytics, as well.
He further believes that, from a technical perspective, experience in and understanding of the concepts of big data and real-time data processing using streams along with understanding of basic principles of data governance is critical for this field.
Karunakaran also provides advice he’s used to guide his own career path. “I’ve had many jobs over the years, and at all the jobs I’ve taken, I always made sure I could learn new things,” he says.
“Being in technology, it isn’t that difficult to find a job that evolves and provides lot of opportunities to learn. The best career advice I got was to be curious, learn, and discover and try new things by taking calculated risks to see what was possible. That way you keep your company, and yourself, in business.”
Find career opportunities with Change Healthcare at changehealthcare.com/careers. Connect on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Glassdoor.
St-Germain Helps Boston Scientific Scale Apps on Its Salesforce Platform
From music and fundraising to IT, Susannah St-Germain shows that tech fields are available to anyone with some hard work and passion.
St-Germain is a Salesforce technical architect in Boston Scientific’s information technology department, working with the company’s 26 project teams to design and build scalable applications on the Salesforce platform, using the customer relationship management (CRM) system to help manage their data and maximize their sales and resources.
Recently, for instance, she worked with the company’s global field inventory team to develop applications on Salesforce, as well as a custom mobile scanning app that integrates with Salesforce.
“The work I did,” she says, “helps our sales reps provide better service to our customers and patients.”
Having gone to college to study music, “I never thought that I’d be working in the IT department of a medical device company that helps improve the lives of 30 million patients every year,” St-Germain says.
After going back to school to get a degree in arts administration, St-Germain worked in fundraising, which includes a stint as a fundraiser for Citizen Schools, a national education non-profit organization. Citizen Schools, she explains, happened to use Salesforce.
“I loved working with Salesforce, pulling reports and customizing the software, and over time I started to drift more and more toward the IT side, and farther away from fundraising.”
Ultimately, St-Germain found the chance to work at Boston Scientific via a posting in the Salesforce Success Community, a user community for the platform.
“At the time I was still working in a fundraising department, and Salesforce was only 50% of my role. When I saw the opportunity to do what I loved 100%, I was thrilled. I reached out to the person who posted the role, and the rest is history,” she recalls.
St-Germain has been with Marlborough, MA-headquartered Boston Scientific for nearly four years, first as a senior business analyst, then as a tech lead, and now as a technical architect.
“My favorite part of my job is that I learn something new every day. Technology is moving really fast right now, which is why I like working in this industry, but it can also be challenging. It can be tough to keep up with new features, functionality and best practices.”
She adds that Boston Scientific is a great place to learn because of the people and its mission, advancing science for life.
“Coming from the non-profit world, it was very important for me to work at a company that helps people. I love that I can see how the work I’m doing improves the lives of our patients, and that’s incredible.”
St-Germain shares the best advice she ever received was to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
“If you feel like you’ve completely mastered 100% of what you’re expected to do in a role, then you’re probably not stretching yourself enough,” she says. “So go ahead and apply for that stretch role or take on that new project. You learn by doing, so take advantage of every opportunity you can.
To succeed in the field, she adds, be ready to move fast. “Technology is moving so quickly right now that the ability and appetite to learn quickly is much more important than knowing a specific skill. Things that you might be learning now could be obsolete in a few years. If that excites you, then you can succeed in tech.
Find career opportunities with Boston Scientific at bostonscientific.com/careers. Connect on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Big-Time Big Data Statistics
The big data analytics market is set to reach $103 billion by 2023.
The big data and analytics market was worth $49 billion in 2019.
In 2019 the big data market was expected to grow by 20%.
In 2020 the big data market is expected to grow by 14%.
In 2020 there will be around 40 trillion gigabytes of data (40 zettabytes).
In 2020 every person will generate 1.7 megabytes in just a second.
Internet users generate about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day.
90% of all data has been created in the last two years.
Today it would take a person approximately 181 million years to download all of the data from the internet.
97.2% of organizations are investing in big data and AI.
Automated analytics will be vital to big data by 2020.
Netflix saves $1 billion per year on customer retention using big data.
Job listings for data science and analytics will reach around 2.7 million by 2020.
In 2012 only 0.5% of all data was analyzed.
In 2019 internet users spent 1.2 billion years online.
Social media accounts for 33% of the total time spent online.
In 2019 there were 2.45 billion active Facebook users, generating a lot of data.
Twitter users send more than a half a million tweets every minute.
Information Created Globally 2010-25
The total amount of data created in the world is forecast to increase dramatically in the coming years, reaching 175 zettabytes in 2025. The rapid development of digitalization contributes to the ever-growing global datasphere.
Corporate Big Data Initiative Success Rates in the U.S. & Worldwide
According to a survey of industry-leading firms, primarily in the U.S., with regard to the success rate of various big data initiatives in 2019, 59.5% of respondents reported having seen measurable results from big data initiatives to decrease expenses.
Worldwide Forecast Revenue for the Big Data Market Through 2027
The global big data market is forecast to grow to $103 billion U.S. by 2027, more than double its expected market size in 2018. With a share of 45%, the software segment would become the large big data market segment by 2027.
Big Data Adoption Among Firms in the U.S. & Worldwide
According to a survey of industry-leading firms, primarily in the U.S. but also worldwide, with regard to the biggest barriers to the adoption of big data among corporations in 2019, 40.3% of respondents suggested that big data adoption was held up by a lack of organizational alignment or agility.
Origin of Data
29 million: That’s the size, in number of records, of the world’s first big data project in 1937. At that time, the administration in America were looking to keep track of social security contributions from some 26 million Americans, and 3 million employers and partners were sought. IBM, with its giant punch-card machines of the time, received the contract - simultaneously setting the foundations for the Big Blue known now, and setting in motion the start of automatic record keeping and data analysis on a massive scale.
1 Zettabyte: For the first time since its conception, global internet traffic surpassed 1 zettabyte (1 billion terabytes) in 2016, according to a Cisco research paper, having risen five-fold in the previous five years.
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