2018 is the year of soft skills in analytics, says survey

2018 is the year of soft skills in analytics, says survey

IAPA Skills and Salary Survey highlights skills needed for success this year

Melbourne, Vic - 08 February 2018

Analytics professionals are still in high demand with the biggest pay increases for key roles and emerging talent, according to the latest IAPA Skills and Salary Survey released today. However those in mid-tier roles will need to boost their soft skills to increase salaries.

The annual Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia (IAPA) Skills and Salary Survey reports on the state of the Australian analytics market based the responses of data and analytics professionals in Australia. Insights include salary levels, technologies used, skill levels and expectations for the future.

According to Jodie Sangster, CEO of IAPA, ‘while many more organisations now have an analytics team, it is soft skills, like communication, influencing and advocacy, that will ensure the business can take action on analytics driven insights.  These are the essential skills for analytics professionals in 2018.’

‘Adding these soft skills to your analytics team is a business imperative for any analytics leader as it directly impacts the perceived success of analytics across the organisation – and the ability to act on insights,’ said Sangster.

To this end, IAPA has introduced Business Interaction for Analysts course to help analytics professionals gain and improve their soft skills. The course provides a career boost for those in data and analytics and covers communication, persuasion, influencing and skills to improve interactions with the rest of the business. IAPA corporate members can undertake the course at discounted member rates.

The soft skills based data story-telling trend has also been observed by industry leaders, such as report sponsor Yellowfin.

According to Glen Rabie, CEO at Yellowfin, ‘rather than demonstrating coding or numerical expertise, Chief Data Officers and Chief Analytics Officers are being asked to demonstrate a range of skills and experience, including the ability to communicate the story behind the analytics.’

The report is available now with key themes from the report including:

  1. Expert and entry–level salaries are accelerating

The top 10% report a salary increase of 7% to a median of $235,000 and the bottom 5% an increase of 9% to $72,000 annually.

  1. Gender pay gap in analytics is half the Australian average

The pay gap between men and women in 2017 improved slightly to 8%; almost half of the Australian job market pay gap of 15.3%[1].

  1. Soft skills will get you the job

A candidate that has a good breadth of soft skills, including communication, presentation and business leadership will be more employable than one with only a range of technical skills.

  1. Team managers and technical experts get top dollar

To earn more, manage a team or uplift your skills in big data technologies or advanced analytical techniques.

  1. Disruption is common but is disconnecting sectors

AI has arrived, but there’s a disconnect between the readiness of businesses on the vendor side (now) and within industry (still in 2-3 years).

  1. Make time to build innovation

Time for innovation is the biggest challenge for analytics professionals. If a more disciplined approach to innovation isn’t implemented, analytics teams run the risk of becoming all about servicing business demands, and organisations will struggle to get the competitive advantage that analytics provides.

‘Employers now expect at least 3 soft skills and 5 technical skills for the median analytics professional salary of $130,000. To increase the value to the organisation, and increase salary, team management skills (including soft skills) or more specialised technical skills are required,’ stated Sangster.

The survey reported team managers earn a median salary of $163,000, $33,000 above the median, and top dollar is paid for more bespoke technical skills like natural language processing, social network analysis and optimisation as well as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, big data and text mining.

More information on the state of the analytics industry in Australia can be found in the 2017 IAPA Skills and Salary Report available via download from IAPA’s website (www.iapa.org.au).

More information on the IAPA soft skills course is available online at https://www.iapa.org.au/business-interaction-for-analysts

Those interested in a career in analytics or the skills required to progress your career in analytics can explore the IAPA certification at iapa.org.au/credentials

[1] BCEC WGEA Gender Pay Equity Insights 2017 Report
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