Big Data Scientists: Big Pay, Big Stress

A survey of 600 data scientists found that many are “exhibiting high levels of work-related stress”, with more than a quarter reporting they were “heavily stressed.”

Steve Ranger, the UK editor-in-chief, TechRepublic and ZDNet suggested, “The research identified ten psychometric profiles present in the data scientist community. While technical, analytical and logical skills still dominate in the profiles, other skills such as project management, creativity and good communication skills are also present.”

The report said organizations must better identify and define what they need from data scientists.

Big Data Startup, the online Big Data Knowledge Platform, identified positions that did not exist before the phrase or concept of Big Data was formulated including Chief Data Officer (a new C-level position) along with Big Data Visualizer and Big Data Solutions Architect.

Big Data’s Big Stress = Big Money

Ann Bednarz reported in NetworkWorld, the corporate appetite for big data is translating into rising salaries for IT pros.

It money3 identifies 10 IT jobs in the data/data administration field. The highest paying is data warehouse manager, with starting salaries ranging from $115,250 to $154,250. The biggest raise goes to business intelligence analysts, who can expect a 7.4% boost this year.

Elizabeth Dwoskin reported in the Wall Street Journal this August,

“While a six-figure starting salary might be common for someone coming straight out of a doctoral program, data scientists with just two years’ experience can earn between $200,000 and $300,000 a year, according to recruiters.”

Dwoskin went on to cite Josh Sullivan, who leads a 500-person data-science group at the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp, “Anyone with “data science” in his or her job title on a LinkedIn page is going to get 100 recruiter emails a day.”

What’s in Your Toolbox?

A careful examination of the precise skill-sets required varies greatly.

Some recent positions describe the Big Data Scientist skills as having a solid understanding of statistical modeling, predictive analysis, machine learning, and data mining.


Courtesy IM Free (

Other job descriptions ask for an understanding complex business challenges, designing scientific solutions, manipulating large data sets, using cutting edge machine learning or statistical processing. Ability to understand either financial or industrial data is must.

More often the position of big data scientist is advertised by a manager of human resource who is unclear about the tasks, skills, and core competencies needed to fulfil the position. Vague job descriptions describe the role leveraging Big Data mining and analysis strategies to optimize current industrial operations, provide business insights, improve targeting, and maximize return on investment (ROI).

The employers in the industry drill down to specific technology competency may have a better handle on the experience needed for the position, such as a strong engineering background in technologies including Scala, Python, Java, Big Data, and Hadoop.

Experience in data analysis techniques and advanced level expertise of R, SQL and Tableau are frequently requested.

The big data scientist positions are not being filled quickly with demand far exceeding supply. This allows people with these targeted skillsets to name their salary and working environment.

Despite all these high paying data scientist jobs, the real test of Big Data will only be known with an attached bottom-line economic impact.

Spotting trends and patterns in data are valuable skill-sets if the ability to recognize behaviour patterns is commercialized and monetized.

Companies are going to evaluate the P&L of these high-paying positions in 2015 – 2018 and ask what they received for their big data compensation packages. If those salaries are correlated to profitability then one can expect a rosy future for the data scientists, even if the stress does not appeal to all who enter the arena.

4 Things We Learned from the 2014 GE Intelligent Platforms User Summit

The GE Intelligent Platforms User Summit officially wrapped up in Orlando last week.

The presentations are finished. The microphones are back in their cases, the banners are down, and the stage monitors are silent.

Even still, the message resonates.

Echoes of the Industrial Internet reverberate in conversations happening in the city’s municipalities, oil fields, and plant floors.

The show is over but in many places, the work is just getting underway.

Gray Matter Systems was a proud sponsor of the event. Here’s a couple things we learned from attending session and speeches last week.

What did you learn? Share it with us on Twitter and Linkedin.  As always, subscribe to our blog to keep up with our posts. Just add your email address in the top left.

1. A Brave New World is Emerging

Social media was buzzing around the Summit from the get-go but things really started rolling when GE CEO Jeff Immelt keynote got under way.

What you see below – this is one of the earliest lines from his speech that hit Twitter and spread pretty quickly.

“If you went to bed last night as an industrial company, you’re going to wake up this morning as a software and analytics company,” – GE CEO Jeff Immelt.

As soon as the words left Immelt’s mouth, people’s heads ducked down and they started typing into their smartphones in a race to share the content. If you were watching, you could literally see social media happening in front of you without a monitor.

The message is relevant and clear – get on board or risk having your competitors watch you in the rearview mirror.

GE is one of the largest industrial companies in the world and it’s leading the way in shaping how smart devices, increased connectivity, and big data make sense in the industrial setting. (In other words, The Industrial Internet).

It’s still all getting sorted out, Immelt admitted.  An Oil and Gas CEO would listen with great attention to the promise of eliminating unplanned downtime but when you bring up the Industrial Internet, “he’ll throw me out.”

Still, Immelt stressed the Industrial Internet is real. He said “it’s not a cartoon, and it’s not Powerpoint.”

Everything following Immelt’s keynote was about proving that, even down to the hashtag, #GEMakesItReal, that continued to hammer the point home on Twitter.

2. They’re Making the Industrial Internet Real in Cincinnati

If you’re a professional working in water/wastewater and have never seen Cincinnati’s Biju George speak, you’re missing out.


GCWW Director Biju George

Biju George, Deputy Director of Greater Cincinnati Water Works, brought his unparalleled passion for public service and technology to the audience in Orlando.

George’s presentation showed how the Industrial Internet is at work in the city and how Cincinnati is using it “to improve its resilience and speed up its response to storms and overflow conditions.”
“The Industrial Internet is real, and this is good because 70% of the world’s people will be living in cities by 2050,” George said. “Fortunately, advanced information and communications via the Industrial Internet can help address these trends and help make cities more livable and sustainable.”

Jim Montague, executive editor at, wrote extensively about the Summit. Read more here.

3. SOPs are Coming to Google Glass

Where do you store your Standard Operating Procedures? Are they stuck in a dusty binder on the shelf or are they digital?

In the near future, SOPs won’t be on paper or in a Word document – they’ll be in your operator’s glasses.

Novotek, a European distributor of GE Intelligent Platforms software, announced at the User Summit that it had combined GE’s automated, electronic standard operating procedure software (Proficy Workflow) with Google Glass, the hands-free wearable computer.

Put simply, the innovation will display Workflow’s step-by-step task instructions on Google Glass glasses.

Novotek was awarded the prestigious Scanautomatic Prize for Automation for innovation. Users demonstrated the technology at the User Summit.

“By getting the work instructions directly on Google Glass glasses, the user always has the right information at the right time, and can perform operations with the support of electronic work instructions, helping to ensure that every process step is completed correctly, with automatic tracking and analysis for improvement,” said Matthew Wells, General Manager of Automation Software for GE Intelligent Platforms. “This is truly the next generation of interactive work tools.”

4. Proficy Monitoring & Analysis Suite is Powerful

The Summit saw GE Intelligent Platforms announce a new version of Proficy Monitoring & Analysis Suite (PMAS) of software.


‏Courtney speaking at the Summit. Photo: @djenningspr

The end-to-end solution is comprised of existing GE solutions Proficy Historian, the industrial big data historian, and SmartSignal, the advanced analytics juggernaut.  PMAS uses GE’s Predix platform for the Industrial Internet.

The Historian side of the solution collects, stores, visualizes and analyzes data. SmartSignal monitors asset health, process performance, and gives a distant early warning when equipment is bound to fail.

“The real power and uniqueness of PMAS is its ability to provide the ability to foresee asset failures months before they become major issues.” Brian Courtney, General Manager, Industrial Data Intelligence at GE, said.

There was so much more happening at the Summit but that’s just a few things that still resonate. Check out this extensive write up to learn more.

If nothing else, there’s a brave new world that is beginning to take hold.

Looking out into a new day and seeing the first few rays of the Industrial Internet coming out over the horizon is some pretty exciting stuff.

With so much promise in the future, the most vital aspect of the journey is to have folks you trust help you navigate this environment for issues like connectivity and security.

Need help on your journey? Contact us today:

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