Big data means big business these days, and companies clamor for people who can translate data into insight and solutions. Predictive analytics, business intelligence, and data science are among the professions in high demand, and some companies even lament the fact that finance and accounting majors lack big data analysis skills.
Remember when a megabyte was considered a lot of data? Then came gigabytes, terabytes, petabytes, and exabytes. Now zettabytes and yottabytes are needed to keep up with all the available information. But this data is useless without people to harness it.
While data scientists remain the darlings of the big data movement, predictive analytics professionals, also know as PAPs, are not far behind. The Burtch Works Study: Salaries of Predictive Analytics Professionals, September 2016, provides insight about this emerging career. Below are selected excerpts:
Now that we’ve answered the most popular questions (how much does it pay and what degree is required), let’s back up to answer the most important question: What is predictive analytics? Katie McConky, assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology, tells GoodCall it is the science of learning from the past to predict the future. “Predictive analytics can be considered a subset of data science focusing specifically on predicting future values and events,” McConky says. “Data science can more broadly be split into descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics.” She provides examples in a cybersecurity setting:
Predictive analytics is in high demand because it has so many applications. In addition to homeland security, McConky says it can be used in healthcare, energy, and more. “As computing systems and data become more abundant, predictive analytics is a natural progression from just analyzing what the data means to what one can anticipate or project into the future,” McConky says.
It’s also quite popular in marketing, according to Sandy Marmitt, partner & senior executive recruiter at Burtch Works.