If you're trying to figure out where to focus your big data sales efforts, take a look at the industries with the biggest demand for big data skills. Early last year, Wanted Analytics, a company that gathers data on hiring trends, reported 12 percent growth in the demand for Hadoop skills. The growth will continue; the CEO of Fractal Analytics, a business intelligence and analytics solutions provider, has been quoted as saying that analytics will grow to one-third of the global IT market in the next few years.
Figuring out where exactly that growth will happen is tricky. Different companies have taken a look at statistics and come up with different pictures of where the big data work is going on.
Industries Hiring People with Big Data Skills
Wanted Analytics broke out its numbers on the demand for big data skills by industry. As reported by Forbes, at the end of the year, the top industries hiring people with big data skills were professional, scientific and technical services; information technologies; manufacturing; finance and insurance; and retail. Wanted Analytics expects those industries to bring in the most employees with big data skills in 2016.
Dice, an online job site specializing in technical jobs, took a closer look at Wanted Analytics' numbers. Dice associates the high demand in manufacturing to the industrial Internet of Things. Smart sensor-based devices monitoring industrial processes generate a steady stream of status updates that require fast analytics review to trigger interventions in case of problems.
RJMetrics, which develops big data analytics infrastructure and software, provides a different look at where the big data work is. It identified the percentage of companies having employees with the "data scientist" job title in various industries. (“Data scientist” is one of many big data-related job titles; other big data job titles include “data engineer,” “big data engineer,” “machine learning specialist,” “business intelligence specialist” and “statistician.”)
Using their breakdown, the companies most likely to have data scientists are in research, defense and space, market research, education and computer software. The percentage of companies with data scientists on staff in any industry is quite low, however, maxing out at just over one percent. It's likely that many companies doing big data work don't use explicit big data job titles but simply hire programmers and developers with big data skills on their resumes. Besides Hadoop, those skills include languages like Python and R, plus experience with SQL and NoSQL databases.
The online education firm Edureka found a different breakdown of big data usage across industries. Its survey last year found that the top industries for using big data skills are banking, technology, manufacturing, energy, consumer and healthcare.
Industries That Will Benefit the Most from Big Data Skills
You can expect that the industries that will benefit the most from big data analytics will be hiring employees with big data skills. Not surprisingly, different sources come to slightly different conclusions about that as well.
Hortonworks, a big data firm founded by engineers who worked on Hadoop, says that the industries that will benefit the most from big data are healthcare, telecommunications, utilities, banking, insurance, travel and retail. In healthcare, big data is seen as so key that back in 2014, more than half of survey respondents said that, within five years, they'd need big data in order to meet their mission objectives.
Another big data platform vendor, Datafloq, identified a different list of sectors that will benefit from big data. They include retail, religion, healthcare, sports, banking, politics, science and academia.
Computer maker Dell identified five sectors in which big data is making an impact. Its list includes media, energy, healthcare, e-commerce and automotive.
Yet another list of sectors that will benefit big data comes from Simplilearn. It sees benefits from big data in 10 verticals: banking and securities; communications, media and entertainment; healthcare; education; manufacturing and natural resources; government; insurance; retail and wholesale trade; transportation; and energy and utilities.
Industries That Are Spending on Big Data
Industries that are spending more on big data will have a bigger demand for big data skills. Analytics firm IDC expects that the big data big spenders will be the manufacturing and banking sectors. Spending is increasing fastest in financial industries and media.
Pulling It All Together
Put together the analyses from all these firms and you'll get a list of 20 sectors in which there's good demand for big data skills:
- Professional, scientific and technical services
- Information technologies
- Manufacturing and natural resources
- Finance and insurance
- Science and research
- Defense and space
- Market research
- Energy and utilities
- Media, communications and entertainment
- Transportation and automotive
The demand for big data crosses all sectors and all businesses. Work to understand your customers' businesses and their problems and you'll be able to identify big data solutions appropriate to their needs.