Update on Data Analytics

By: Sue Weston

Data analytics professionals convert information into intelligence, which supports data driven decisions.  Some solutions discussed at that the Analytics Panel Event included designing bots to improve the customer experience, using historical information to anticipate demand and increasing speed to insight. Data analytics already simplifies our lives; automated algorithms and machine learning facilitate searching for information, reordering groceries or booking travel. The panel emphasized the need for T-shaped professionals, individuals with a wide breath of knowledge and deep expertise.  Successful data analytics professionals combine technical expertise with intellectual curiosity, critical thinking and problem solving. Rutgers Master in Business and Science degree provides students with the technical and business skills they need to succeed.

This blog provides an update to the December 2016 Skills-In-Demand review. It analyzes online data analytics jobs advertised between January 01, 2017 and December 31, 2017 in the U.S. using a tool called Labor Insight from Burning Glass Technologies. By mining the detailed information stored in job postings we can determine what employers are looking for when they fill data analytics positions. [See the Methods section for additional information.]  We used the Metropolitan Statistical Area [MSA] to define our region. MSA is a geographical region with a high population density at its core and economic ties throughout the area.  Our region is composed of three MSAs Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, New York-Newark-Jersey City and Trenton.

The chart (above) compares data analytics jobs as a percentage of all jobs [that require a Masters Degree with under 5 years of work experience]. In 2017 the proportion of jobs in data analytics increased nationally and regionally. While data analytics positions accounted for 0.8% of jobs advertised nationally, they represented 1.4% of jobs in our region. In fact, 15% of all data analytics positions were located in our region in 2016 and 2017.

Job titles in data analytics were widely distributed with no single title requested on more than 7% of jobs. Business Intelligence [BI] positions were advertised most with roles of analyst and developer. BI roles accounted for 14% of the data analytics positions in 2017 and 18% of 2016 data analytics positions.  The largest decline was in developer jobs. This may reflect an expansion in job titles as more companies use data analytics and as existing companies integrate analytics into their businesses. Within our region, the data scientist was the advertised most often, and accounted for 9% of jobs listed in 2017 compared with 14% of jobs in 2016.

What are employers looking for? Companies are using data analysts to mine data to build connections, drive innovation, create frictionless transactions, and anticipate demand. Employers are looking for professionals who have Information Technology [IT] and analytical skills. Burning Glass developed an algorithm to predict demand in the next two years. The chart  [below] shows areas of growth in green.

We have seen increased emphasis seen on some technical skills such as scripting language, which went from 27% of jobs in 2016 to 36% in 2017. Other technical skills to expected increase in demand over the next two years include:

  • Information Technology related skills:  SQL, scripting languages, big data, data management and JavaScript and jQuery
  • Analytics related skills: data science, data visualization, machine learning and Natural Language Processing
  • Non-traditional skills:  business process, project management, key performance indicators, customer relationship management and budget management

Burning Glass anticipates an increased demand for specific software and programming skills: Tableau, Apache Hive and Hardoop, Python, R and data visualization. Companies are expected to continue to request JAVA and SAS at current levels (appearing on one out of five jobs). Software expected to be less desirable include: BusinessObjects, PERL, Cognos Impromptu, Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and Crystal Reports.

No specific certifications are associated with data analytics. In fact, 91% of jobs omitted this field. Security clearance was identified on approximately 5% of positions.  Surprisingly, even though project management was identified in 18% of jobs, Project Management Professional [PMP] certification was requested on less that 1% of positions.

Three industries accounted for 34% of jobs: consulting (14%), insurance (10%) and finance (10%), but jobs were distributed across a wide number of companies. Accenture accounted for 6% of jobs posted [in 2016 Accenture lead the pack with 4% of jobs]. Within our region two companies stood our for job creation: JPMorgan Chase (8% of jobs) and Accenture (7% of jobs).

National Top Employers:

Accenture, Amazon, Deloitte, JP Morgan Chase, Booz Allen Hamilton, Anthem Blue Cross 

Regional Top Employers:

JP Morgan Chase, Accenture, Deloitte, Comcast, Johnson & Johnson, Capital One

Where are the jobs? Burning Glass uses location quotients [LQ] to identify job concentration within a particular geography.  [If the US-wide average demand equals 1.0 then LQ of 1.2, indicates 20% higher demand.] Two states combined created one out of four jobs: California (18% of jobs) and New York (9% of jobs).  Only one of the top states, Texas is anticipated to have low growth.

For a more granular view we looked at job creation by Metropolitan Statistical Level. In 2017 our region led the nation in creation of data analytic jobs.  Burning Glass anticipates continued strong growth over the next two years in these regions.

An IBM-sponsored study projects a 28% spike for positions in data analytics by 2020 [See Forbes May 2017 Louis Columbus].  Companies are attempting to address a shortage of qualified applicants to fill the growing number of jobs in data analytics. The MBS-sponsored Panel on Analytics participants shared stories about how analytics is changing the way their business operate; ranging from bots that provide travel advice to optimization of sales calls.  The next frontier for data analytics may include data governance, privacy and the law. The panel emphasized that data analysts to understand the business, listen, and apply analytical skills to find solutions. The Master in Business and Science degree positions graduates to fill these emerging jobs and to write the next chapter as leaders in data analytics.



To do this analysis, we used a tool called Labor Insight from Burning Glass. It allows you to mine data from on-line job postings to identify trends in the job market, such as job titles and skills in high demand and where jobs are concentrated, among other things. Because many jobs are posted several times in different places online, the system uses several methods to eliminate as many duplicate postings as possible (See here for more information: http://burning-glass.com). To help students and other entry-level job seekers, we limited the analysis to jobs requiring at least a Bachelor’s degree and less than 5 years of experience.

While this analysis can show trends in the job market, there are limitations. Not all jobs are advertised on-line. The unstructured nature of job ads can make it difficult for the system to identify individual pieces of information effectively in some cases. While Labor Insight breaks up all the pieces of the job description into fields for analysis inconsistency in formatting of job descriptions and industry specific terminology or titles may result in wider distributions, especially in job titles.  As a result, some irrelevant jobs may be included while some relevant jobs may get left out. Overall, however, I hope that this analysis of “real-time” jobs data gives you a basic understanding of what is in demand in your area of interest.