What are the Essential Big Data Skills a Data Scientist Needs?

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Studies have shown that there are more than 100,000 job openings in the Big Data Market. Yes it’s true. Today there is a shortage of supply and an increase in the demand for Data Scientists, trained Big Data specialists who are can contribute effectively to the Big Data world.

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If you are wondering about taking a leap into this world, then you might also be wondering about which skills in particular you need in order to get your foot in the door. Well simply put, a Big Data Scientist would need a combination of technical programming skills, hands on experience with Analytical tools such as statistics, modeling techniques and econometrics and excellent presentation skills.

If we examine the technical skills needed by people working in Big Data, we see that since the most commonly used languages are Java, Python, C#, and R which implements MapReduce queries on big databases such as Hadoop, HBase, Cassandra, and MongoDB, these would be the languages you need to build expertise in. It’s worthy to note however that today there seems to be a more significant growth in Hadoop, R and MongoDB and so it may be a good idea to begin by learning these first.

As Big Data evolves however so will the skills of a data scientist and as such it would be prudent to get acquainted with newer technologies like Windows Azure, IBM PureData, Oracle Big Data Appliance and HPCC. Some other emerging ones with potential business intelligence applications are Pivotal, Sap HANA, Google BigQuery, SAS, Tableau, MariaDB, Pentaho, Jaspersoft, and Talend, so keep them on your radar as well.

While technical skills are a very important component of Big Data Analytics, as important are your analytic and business skills. To grow in your Big Data role you need to be able to define profitable business objectives and put the analysis in a perspective that will help enable your organizations to well leverage the analysis.

Analytics includes actually working with the outputs and coming up with high end recommendations and insights to aid business growth. You can be involved in descriptive, predictive or prescriptive analytics, which in essence talks about how to churn outputs using great technologies into actionable insights at various stages of analysis. Essentially a combination of analytics and technology are the means to achieve the goal of business development and profitability.

Whereas technology itself is driven by human intelligence, analytics is that intelligence. For example SAS by itself is not effective and will only do what the programmer asks of it. SAS is a tool. The programmer needs to have a clear understanding of the problem statement before using SAS to manipulate the data to obtain the solution, to the problem at hand. The same example can be used for Big Data. Technology is only a tool but there needs to be a clear direction to how it can be used to extract what is needed of the data and then translate those to real life insights.

Presentation skills are also a very crucial skill for Big Data professionals. They need to creatively present results using sophisticated Data Visualizations which present high end business solutions in a crisp and concise manner. Termed as soft skills, an ideal candidate needs not only to be able to communicate and deliver information effectively but they also need to comprehend things well and listen to the client, so as to really understand the business problem to begin with.

Realistically speaking it is not often that organizations can find suitable candidates that possess all these skills. The truth of the matter is that the industry is still nascent and trained professionals hard to find. Several companies look for people with some of these skills and then invest in training them on the other skills needed. Today several institutes like Jigsaw Academy have courses and certifications in Big Data, where you can get trained in the big data skills in demand. Take a look at our Big Data Certification in association with Wiley-> http://jigsawacademy.com/analytics-courses/big-data-hadoop-online-training/

Interested in a career in Big Data or Data Science? Check out Jigsaw Academy’s courses and find out how you can get started:

Data Scientist Course

Big Data Specialist Course 

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