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The most in demand big data skills

Big data describes the large amount of data inundating businesses every day. It can come from hundreds of sources in all kinds of formats and requires a lot of man and computer power to make sense of. It can lead to better decisions and strategic business moves and affects almost every industry. Today we’re exploring why big data analyst, developer and engineer roles are so in demand – and why you need the following big data skills to succeed.

1. Analytical skills and visualisation

A talent for visualising and interpreting data is essential for big data, which requires being both mathematical and creative. With skills in visualisation, you’ll be the person who can turn data into easy to understand charts, graphs or maps, and ensure that stakeholders have an easy way to understand trends and patterns in the data.

2. Data structure and algorithms

Understanding data structure and algorithms is vital because these are the building blocks of big data. You need to become familiar with data types – stacks, queues and bags – and be able to sort algorithms – using, for instance, quicksort, merge shot and heapsort – as well as data structure – with binary search trees, red-back trees, hash tables. You’ll also need to get to grips with unstructured data, which is data that doesn’t have a place in a table, so for example videos, blogs and customer feedback, to be able to use this useful data in the decision-making process.

3. SQL and NoSQL database knowledge

For more than 40 years, Structured Query Language (SQL) databases have been a primary data storage mechanism – it’s the most structured, rigid way of storing data, after all. However, if you’re dealing with lots of unstructured data, which is highly likely when it comes to big data, you can get a lot more flexibility from a NoSQL database. Simply put, master both and you’ll be highly sought after.

4. Machine learning

Big data is just that – big. Which is why a computerised solution that can take in lots of information that’s relevant to your problem is extremely useful. Enter machine learning. It solves problems through a trial and error process, constantly improving and developing solutions more sophisticated than humans could develop or understand. 

Whether you’re just starting out in tech or have been working with big data for a while, these four skills are all incredibly useful for taking the next step. Beyond the skills you need, it’s worth looking into where you can make the most when it comes to salaries, because this varies hugely around the world. And it’s not just the data scientist role that is popular, but business intelligence analysts, cloud architects, database developers, DevOps engineers, IoT specialists and security professionals. So, as companies look to expand their big data capabilities, you’re sure to be demand.

If you’re looking to get a head start in the market, why not check out the current vacancies here.

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