Guest Article: Big Data Skills For Aspiring Hadoopers

IMG_1288The number of jobs related to Big Data is growing by the day, as several companies are opening up to the benefits of collecting and harnessing data. Big Data is crucial for those who are seriously thinking of sharpening their skills. As the demand is likely to soar, experts say that it’s advisable to get into the industry in its early days and enjoy a career that is beyond being satisfactory.

But the sole question remains not only for students and data professionals but also for recruiters: What are the key skills required to enter the Big Data market?


Confronting the Shortage

Big data challenges in different organizations doesn’t crop up from understanding the technology, rather, it lies in finding the right people. With a shortage of big data skills in the market, IT professionals must find ways to hone their talent.
One of the reasons for big data skills shortage is there are very few data scientists with the right skills and this problem is expected to grow. The other is the use of traditional databases.
Some of the most in-demand job openings are for NoSQL experts, Apache Hadoop and Python experts, ETL developers, data warehouse appliance specialists and predictive analytics developers.
Companies have responded to the big data skill shortage by identifying the skills that employees need to meet the challenges presented by big data.


5 Essential Big Data Skills
As a child, I remember watching Captain Planet, which revolves around 5 Planeeters who were given super powers and a core responsibility to protect the world from unpleasant situations. Individually, these 5 people cannot do wonders, but together they combine their powers to summon Captain Planet, a super hero, who possesses all their powers. This symbolizes the powers of combined efforts. Today, I can connect the dots and link the same story to the situation of big data.
The year 2015 can prove to be lucky, if you decide to be the next Captain Planet (or should i say Captain Data) in the world of big data. In this rapidly growing market, the ownership of just one skill cannot do wonders. You need to have an assortment of skills that will not only help you get through any company, but also help you stick around for a long time. It’s high time that the power of 5 starts working in your favor.
Take a look at the 5 essential skills for big data

1. Analytics and Business Skills

This is perhaps the most obvious ability you will need.
1. To be able to make sense of the newly deployed data collection strategy that is piling up.
2. The ability to determine which data is relevant to your question, and interpreting the data to derive those answers.
3. A knack for spotting patterns, and establishing links between cause and effect will prove invaluable and turn a business data into plans of operation.
4. Understanding of business objectives, and the underlying processes which drive profit.

2. Hadoop

Hadoop and Map Reduce are now more or less mandatory, when it comes to searching and analyzing data. As a result, the skills necessary to administer Hadoop environments will continue to sizzle in 2015 and beyond.
One of the many great things about Hadoop is its flexibility. Users from a variety of backgrounds like Java, PHP, Perl, Ruby, COBOL and Linux are able to take the skills they already know and translate them into Hadoop.

3. Non Relational Databases

When it comes to Big Data job postings, there is only one term you’ll see in more than Hadoop. It’s NoSQL — the non-relational database management system that facilitates the storage, retrieval and modeling of mass quantities of complex data. MongoDB, with its JSON-based schema is still the most popular. Forester estimates that currently the adoption rate for NoSQL systems is at 20 % and likely to double in the next three years.

4. Programming/Scripting

To create and execute jobs across enormous non-relational databases takes a bit of scripting. The most common scripting languages in this space are Hive, Pig and JAQL. The High Level Query Languages often allow more abstract queries at the expense of some performance over the API.
It helps to have a good grounding in Java, as well, which is useful for writing user-defined functions for big data analysis. A bit of Python knowledge can be helpful too, and a solid grounding in C++ can also help.

5. Data Visualizer

One of the most important aspects of big data is the ability to visualize data in a way that is understandable for senior management of an organization. Visualizing data helps in understanding and finding new patterns and insights. There are some big data start-ups that are developing a completely new way of visualizing data.

You can be one step ahead of your competition by being able to gain valuable insights with interactive visuals and can help with creating these important insights.
A big data visualizer should be a creative thinker who understands User Interface design as well as other visualization skills such as typography, interface design, user experience design and visual art design. This will give the big data visualizer the skills to turn abstract information from data analysis into understandable visualizations that clearly explain the results of the analysis.
Big data is the mantra for success when we talk about technology. So hold on to it, gather those skills, and take the leap because big data is here to stay.

Author Bio:
Linsiya is a tech enthusiast who loves researching and writing on emerging and hot technologies in the IT field. She works at Edureka, an e-learning platform providing live online training. She loves tweeting and connecting with other tech enthusiasts. She also enjoys reading, travelling and cooking.

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