Travis Barker

Travis Barker, Stellar Consulting Partner

Business Intelligence, Analytics, Data Warehousing and Project Management are skills in short supply, according to a number of recent articles looking at IT staffing trends for 2012.

Demand for these skills is expected to grow, as the recession eases.

According to Computerworld’s annual Forecast survey, 29% of IT executives (the highest percentage in the past three years) plan to add staff during the first half of 2012, while 17% expect to reduce staffing.

The magazine surveyed more than 350 IT leaders in the United States during June.

Business Intelligence and Analytics

BI is included in Computerworld’s list of nine hot IT skills for 2012, and staffing company Robert Half International’s list of the five hottest technology jobs.

In New Zealand, Robert Half expects strong demand in the related area of Business Analysis.

Computerworld’s survey found that 23% of IT executives plan to hire people with BI expertise in the next 12 months, up from 13% in the 2010 survey.

“The uptick indicates a shift from focusing on cost savings to investing in technology that provides access to real-time data, enabling better business decisions,” writes Computerworld’s Rick Saia.

Start-up headhunter Keith Cline sees Analytics as one of the five areas facing a talent shortage in 2010.

“Analytics is becoming a central hub across companies where everything (web, marketing, sales, operations) is being measured and each decision is supported by data,” he wrote at inc.com.

“Thus, we are seeing a high level of demand for analytics and business intelligence professionals.”

Megan Alexander, New Zealand General Manager of Robert Half, predicts that “decision makers will be looking for candidates who can drive business intelligence and will be prepared to invest in hiring the right people to deliver infrastructure change.”

Data Warehousing

IT recruiters interviewed by CIO magazine predict that mobile application developers – and, in particular, mobile game developers – will remain “the hottest commodity in IT” throughout 2012.

But mobile isn’t the only area offering exciting opportunities. CIO’s list of the six hottest IT jobs, published last month, also sees strong demand for data warehousing experts:

“Companies’ desire to extract insights from the petabytes of data streaming into their back office systems is driving demand for data warehouse architects, analysts and developers,” says CIO writer Meridith Levinson.

Eighteen per cent of executives in the Computerworld survey said they planned to hire IT staff with data centre skills in the next 12 months, down slightly from 21% in the 2010 survey.

Project Management

One of the five skills most in demand, according to Robert Half, Project Management is also on Computerworld’s list of the top nine hot skills.

Computerworld notes that 44% of executives in its survey plan to hire project managers in the next 12 months, up slightly from 43% a year ago.

But a PM designation may not be enough to land every job:

“Big projects need managers, but they also need business analysts who can identify users’ needs and translate them for the IT staffers who have to meet those needs and complete projects on time,” writes Rick Saia.

He quotes John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology who says: “The demand has been more for business analysts than project managers, in other words, those who can help deliver projects rather than merely oversee and monitor them.”

Opportunities abound

As a Business Intelligence consultant, I work with executives and managers who believe in basing their business decisions on solid data.

Managing and analysing that data are two of the biggest challenges most companies face. That’s where good BI systems and great people come in.

“As we head out of a recession hiring managers will be looking for more analytical abilities,” says Megan Alexander. “Those in senior roles who ‘sat tight’ during the recession have now been in the same role for 3-5 years and will be looking to up skill or are ready for a change.

“Candidates with the ability to analyse will be well placed in this market.”

Here at Stellar, our 2012 pipeline reflects the strong demand seen by recruitment agencies. We currently have openings for Oracle and Microsoft BI developers, so if you think you’ve got what it takes to consult alongside New Zealand’s best BI talent, get in touch!

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