Irish analytics pros in demand

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1 December 2017


A survey of Irish data analytics professionals for the Analytics Institute, carried out by Alternatives, has found that three quarters of respondents received a salary increase in the last 12 months.

The survey found the increases were spread quite evenly across all sectors, but one in five saw an increase of 11% or more.

The survey was carried out earlier this year among 245 professionals in the area of data analytics, with more than half (52%) of respondents working for Irish companies, across 25 sectors. Financial services, IT/tech and professional/legal/business services were the largest groups of respondents.

Almost half of respondents (43%) said the analytics function has a strategic voice in the organisation, with 24% saying a support function, and 34% saying somewhere between.

Where analytics has a lead function, the most common area is business intelligence (55%), followed by customer insights (49%), and base/segment management (32%).

For 37%, the analytics function is standalone, whereas for 24% it sits across a variety of functions. For 14%, it is within marketing, and for 13% it sits within IT.

Despite the growing number of organisation for which analytics has a strategic voice, for more than half of respondents, they are not measured on any key performance indicators (KPI), but for 25%, organisation revenue is a KPI, for 22% it is organisation profit, while for less than 20%, customer satisfaction is the key measure.

Despite the positive salary conditions reported by respondents, non-monetary engagement factors play a key role in attracting and retaining talent. A meaningful role is key for 42% of respondents, with flexible hours, career progression opportunities, and great projects all coming in within a small margin.

Despite the vast majority (82%) of respondents being on permanent contracts, almost two thirds (64%) see themselves staying in their current role for less than two years, prompting fears of a “talent time bomb” within the industry. However, around the same proportion see their future as within the area of data and analytics.

In terms of skills and development, the top three skills in demand among respondents were influencing/stakeholder management (50%), followed by  communication/presentation skills (33%) and strategic thinking (32%). The survey report notes that all of these are soft skills, not core data-related, and perhaps indicates that analytics professionals are struggling to communicate the value of their work, and require additional skills in order not just to present their work, but also to communicate the value of their capabilities to other areas of the business.

The top three skills required within the analytics teams were statistical/predictive modelling (54%), followed by data visualisation/BI reporting (51%) and descriptive analytics (39%).



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