The IT industry is abuzz with the Big Data wave. Most IT professionals are interested in learning about Big Data technologies and how it may change and boost their careers. In this article we will review how the Big Data revolution actually impacts the IT industry. Big Data technologies and tools are of course intrinsically a part of the IT industry, and have been developed by IT companies like Yahoo, Google, Amazon, and Ebay. But beyond these companies, how does Big Data play out in the industry in general?
The traditional and most direct impact is of course through the IT services route. Millions of IT professionals support IT services for large and small companies across multiple industries like Financial Services, Telecom, Retail, HealthCare etc. As the volumes of data being processed and the type of data being collected in these industries grows at an ever increasing pace, companies in these industries are moving their data storage, processing, and insights to Big Data platforms, and IT services vendors and professionals need to master these platforms and technologies to support the services offered to these companies.
For IT product companies and infrastructure companies, smart products and devices now generate massive amounts of data, and these companies have to deal with both data storage and data processing of very large datasets using Big Data technologies. IT storage companies like Netapp and EMC, IT hardware, networking and internet domain companies like Cisco and Verisign, and product companies like IBM all need people with deep expertise in working with the latest Big Data tools.
Of course, within IT companies across different functions there is also a need for data mining and insights capabilities from large datasets with a mix of structured and unstructured data. Marketing, sales, training, performance management etc are all functional areas that deal with large volumes of data from a variety of sources and that need to be processed as real-time as possible, again requiring Big Data skills
One key aspect of Big Data jobs however is to remember that the best and most value added jobs require more than Big Data Administration or Developer skills – they require Data Science skills. What this involves is a combination of deep programming and computing expertise using Big Data technologies, along with a knowledge of statistical and machine learning techniques that are used for solving complex business problems, and an interest and knowledge of business issues. People with this combination of skills will be able to command a high premium in the job market, and given the rate at which data is being generated and analysed, this is a great career option to invest in for many years to come.