TechLines panelist profile: IBM's James Kobielus on big data talent

TechLines panelist profile: IBM's James Kobielus on big data talent

Summary: The talent shortage in big data is a hot topic among technology leaders. Data scientists can call their career shots.

TOPICS: TechLines, Big Data

Data scientists could become the developers of the next generation of enterprise systems as analytics, big data and business intelligence all blend together.

That's the argument from James Kobielus, IBM's big data evangelist and our fifth panelist for Oct. 4's TechLines panel in New York City.


TechLines panelists: T-Mobile's Christine Twiford | Archimedes' Katrina Montinola | Ford's Michael Cavaretta | NASA's Nicholas SkytlandKobielus, who was an analyst for Forrester Research, said that the data scientist will ultimately occupy a developer role. "There will be a core group of modelers focused on statistical analysis, business intelligence and new specialties such as sentiment analysis," explained Kobielus. "Data scientists will come into the game when traditional business intelligence can't quite meet the needs of the enterprise."

Data science has been around for decades, but now is becoming more mainstream amid an information explosion. Meanwhile, new tools such as Hadoop and NoSQL approaches are causing a demand spike for talent.

"When you look at the job listings, there's clearly demand for data scientists," said Kobielus. "It's a boom period. There's a shortage of people who can do modeling work with Hadoop and MapReduce."

The talent shortage in big data is a hot topic among technology leaders. At a conference held by Temple University last week, tech leaders repeatedly bemoaned how hard it was to find talent. A bevy of companies are taking in-house talent and supplementing it with consultants and third parties. In the long run, these companies are teaming up with universities to create curriculum to create a pool of data scientists.

Among other notable points from Kobielus:

There's a historical comparison between big data and Linux, which took about a decade to become a mainstream data center staple.

Standardization could become an issue for big data. There is no standard big data building block, but Hadoop comes close. Kobielus said big data could adopt standards like services oriented architecture (SOA) did. He also wondered if there would be distro wars in the big data market.

Topics: TechLines, Big Data

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  • Not this stupidity again

    Really I don't need to add any more than that subject line. If companies were willing to simply put their money where their mouth is and show that they might have an iota of loyalty to their employees, or (god forbid) train their employees, there would never be a hint of this kind of idiocy.
    • Here here, is this the next hype and stupid duo?

      If it really has legs, it will go from boom to bust in a few years, just like every other "hot" item before it.

      When I need to use something I've never used or seen or maybe even heard of before, I can generally learn it in a day to a week to a point where I can start getting results. If you can't do that, you probably should not be a contractor.

      I'm never going to work for goole, IBM, deloitte and touche, etc., so It is probably something I will never look at. Then again, I do have a project. that.... so I'll figure it out if and when. More importantly, I'll know I'm going to get paid before I get started.
  • Agree with jonrosen

    We hear this on a regular basis and yet every single vacancy you see says "x years experience required with a, b, and c technologies" - if you don't have those exact technologies don't even bother applying. When are the employers going to realise that in order to get the exact requirements they want they have to invest, either hire someone with similar experience and cross-train or take an existing employee who they know has the potential and give them a shot!
  • It's a problem that is self created

    Anyone with any real understanding of data management will avoid the so-called big data technologies like the plague.

    So if you want talent look for the people who realize what a complete waste of time Hadoop really is.
  • Shortage

    "There's a shortage of people who can do modeling work with Hadoop and MapReduce"

    Maybe that's because Hadoop and MapReduce are totalling unsuitable methods for doing data modelling?
  • Why does big data need evangelists?

    Kobielus is a big data evangelist.

    Nobody would use big data methods if they evaluated the situation rationally, so what you need is blind faith, therefore the need for evangelists.
  • No jobs in Big Data?

    Doubt Big Data will create jobs? I wrote this is March

    Please leave comments.