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April 23, 2013

Visualizing the Big Data Job Market

Ian Armas Foster

Where are all the big data jobs? Well, one answer is ‘virtually everywhere,’ as more companies and institutions realize that harnessing big data in some form is necessary to keep up with the competition.

However, to provide a more detailed and creative answer to that question, Tableau created an interactive visualization to illustrate exactly where relatively lucrative (based on their average salary figures) data science and analyst jobs exist in the United States.

Perusing the interactive version of the map, a full sized version of which can be found below, will reveal a few fascinating nuggets about where the big data market lies. For example, not surprisingly, Seattle, Silicon Valley, and the Northeastern I-95 corridor harbor a significant amount of openings. Further, the areas around Argonne National Laboratory in the Chicago region and the Texas Advanced Computing Center in Austin seemingly hold their fair share of openings.

As one zooms in, they get a better sense of the breakdown of the market by job specialty. Perhaps one of the more surprising aspects is that nationwide, jobs in managing and working with Hadoop specifically have outpaced general data scientist jobs. With that said, the difference may not be all that statistically significant, as Hadoop leads only by 61 over almost 4,000 jobs nationwide, with the site (and the visualization) being updated periodically.

Either way, this display represents a nice little meta-representation of what Tableau, noted big data visualization specialists, is interested in. Breaking down 4,000 big data opportunities by country location and subset (analyst, architect, Hadoop, and scientist) may not seem like an extensive project worthy of big data hype. The goals of this project, however, appear to be a) to help connect those wandering aimlessly in the big tech field to those who could use them and b) to display Tableau’s interactive capabilities.

The visualization also represents a potentially shrewd move for Tableau, as those who find opportunities as a result of this map (there are also tabs which break down these job listings by position and salary and not by region) may be liable to recommend the company to their employers.

Whatever the case, building out the big data connections map and decreasing the gap between demand and filled positions for analysts and scientists is never a bad thing.

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