Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Maybe these will be great days for data miners!

While perusing the NC State Institute for Advanced Analytics site (to follow up on the previous post on data mining education), I noticed a link to US News and World Reports career guide, one of which describes how data mining is an "ahead of the curve" career for 2009. While the example is quite limited that is mentioned, it is interesting that data mining is getting such national recognition. Maybe we're in the right industry after all!


Will Dwinnell said...

I believe that the business context of data mining has a large affect on the experience of data miners in the labor market.

Situations in which data mining is regarded as a "luxury" spending item for businesses, will run early on the business cycle. Though I have no hard quantitative evidence, my observation during the previous downturn was that data mining jobs dried up much sooner than more conventional jobs (programmer, DBA, etc.). Likewise, during the last recovery, data mining jobs seemed to appear sooner than more conventional positions. Obviously, this impact will be even larger for consultants.

In contrast, organizations where data mining (or its cousins, like forecasting, O.R., actuary, etc.) have taken root, and are viewed by decision-making managers as essential to the operation of the business, will obviously be much more resistant to closely following business cycles. In fact, some fraction of managers find data mining especially important to maintain during hard times.

Tim Manns said...

I commonly run job searches to see what's 'out there'. I've noticed a reduced number of hits in recent months. This indicates there are fewer openly advertised data mining roles in Australia.

Within my organisation though, we are seeing an increased number of data mining requests. The money crunch does lead everyone to re-evaluate what they're doing and this often leads them to want more data insights...