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The Business Analyst Skillset in the New World

The Business Analyst Skillset in the New World

 

The Business Analyst (BA)is a key role bridging the domains of business and technical world. In midst of Outsourcing/Offshoring, this pivotal role is still preferred to reside onsite. Having been in the staffing industry for over 20 years, I am often asked this question –  what skills should I acquire and develop to be a successful Business Analyst?  Let me try to answer this from the recruiting perspective:

 

Traditional BA skills

Traditional BA skills are very much in play – communication skills being the most important trait. One needs to be a great communicator. As Andrea Morra, Director, Prudential Retirement, who heads a team who performs business analysis puts it, “Someone who can see the big picture, and then is able to break it down into the smaller components.  Someone who can inspire people around them by painting the big picture in a relatable way”.

 

As for technical skills-Data Modeling skills and SQL are a MUST have.  A rudimentary understanding of programming helps to grasp the fundamentals.  Being able to draw up Use Cases and Wire-frames are the standard skills you must have. But as the Business Analyst role is evolving and they are playing a major role in a company’s transformation, we have seen the following hottest skills for Business Analysts.

 

Agile

As more and more organizations are going towards Agile methodology, time for Business Analyst to adapt to the change and imbibe the spirit of the agile methodology. They need to understand their strengths and play accordingly.  For example, if they are playing the role of a Project Manager BA, they need to learn “ manage” or a BA on a core development team has to be technically savvy to act as a bridge between business and developers.

 

Data related technologies

Every company on this planet is talking about data and how they seek meaningful information out of it. If you like data and can play the role in data representation, you may see some good job opportunities. But you still need to learn tools such as Microstrategy, Tableau etc. and be more technical savvy from the data perspective (Sourcing, Cleansing etc.)

 

Cloud Computing

With the deployment of cloud computing, organizations are undergoing a lot of changes which include business process re-engineering and dependence on Cloud provider. Here the Business Analyst needs to make use of their soft skills and interact with vendors from time to time. Negotiation skills, vendor management, Business Process reengineering skills are a must for these kinds of scenarios.

 

Besides these skills, one of the most important skills is “continuous improvement and innovative skills”, as Andrea Morra puts it.  “Business Analysts must build creativity and have problem-solving skills”.  These are just a few examples of skills needed for Business Analyst jobs.

 

Best Practices for Applicant and Interview Follow-Up

Today most job candidates know that a “thank you” note after an interview is virtually an expectation. But should that note be hard copy, electronic or both? Who should it be sent to? What should it say? What other steps should candidates take—and are there things they should not do?

Here’s what HR pros, recruiters and hiring managers have to say.

“Thank You” Follow Up: A Must Do

A follow-up thank-you is a must-do say the experts, but opinions on whether it should be electronic, hard copy or both vary. Surprisingly, a very small percentage of applicants use them! Robert Half research on the topic of thank-you notes, for example, indicates that while 80 percent of HR managers take thank-you notes into account when deciding who to hire, they report receiving such notes from applicants only about 24 percent of the time, says Bianca De Rose, senior public relations specialist.

Michael Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps, recommends sending a note within 24 hours of the meeting. “The safest bet is to use email since it’s quick, unobtrusive and accepted by most managers,” he says. “Consider the company culture before deciding to follow up through another medium such as mail, phone, social media or text.”

Importantly, he adds, be cautious about coming across as desperate. “One or two emails is acceptable, but you don’t want the hiring manager to associate your persistence with peskiness. Be patient during the process.”

It’s also important, say recruiters, to add a little something personal and specific to the job and your interview. “Thank you notes should always reference something pertinent to the conversation like ‘I really enjoyed learning more about the role, and I’m particularly encouraged by Company X’s strategic direction in the areas XYZ as we discussed,” says Mary Pharris, director of business development and partnerships with Fairygodboss, a career community for women to share their workplace experiences. This shows, she says that “you were paying attention and are enthusiastic about the company and role.”

A Follow-Up Template

Matthew Kerr, a career adviser and hiring manager at ResumeGenius, offers a “tried and true formula” for writing an impactful thank you note in about four paragraphs:

Paragraph 1:

  • Introduction, context, and purpose: State that is was a pleasure to meet the interviewer, when you met them, and thank them for taking the time to interview you and considering you for the position.
  • Personal connection: Mention something that impressed you about the company.

Paragraph 2:

  • Expand on something said during the interview: Give more details about a specific skill or example you mentioned and how you can use it to benefit the company.

Paragraph 3:

  • When sending an email, add value with a link: You can link to something specific on your target company’s website that impressed you or that was mentioned in the interview. You can also link to things related to your past work.

Paragraph 4:

  • Gently remind the interviewer when they said they’d respond: Don’t set a deadline, but say you’re looking forward to hearing back from them by the previously agreed upon time.
  • Reiterate your gratitude and interest: Thank the interviewer again and mention your strong belief that you would be a great fit for the company.

Going Above and Beyond

Debra Boggs, MSM, is cofounder of D&S Professional Coaching emphasizes the importance of sending individual follow up to everyone you interacted with during the interview process. “This includes any administrative staff that arranged your meeting or travel,” she adds. “Administrative staff often have influence and should not be neglected.”

If sending hard copy follow-up notes, she also recommends preparing in advance, particularly if traveling. “Make sure to pack envelopes, notecards and stamps and pre-address them before your interview. Then you can simply fill them out and drop them in the mail locally before departing.”

Laura Poisson is president of ClearRock, a career transition, outplacement, leadership development and executive coaching firm. “Many job-seekers follow up too little, some persist too much—and far too few people persevere just right,” says Poisson. “Those who follow up in the right ways are exhibiting leadership and decision-making qualities.”

Poisson offers a variation on the follow-up letter or email: pick up the phone! “The telephone is a greatly under-utilized form of communication in our world of texts and emails,” she says. But, she adds: “Plan ahead on not connecting with your interviewer, and leaving a voicemail message when you call. Have a short message composed in advance.”

Finally, just as every good salesperson knows, don’t be shy about asking for the job. Clearly convey your interest in the position and enthusiasm about the potential to work for this company.

Outsmarting Electronic Application Systems

While applicant tracking systems (ATS) provide great value for HR professionals and hiring managers, particularly when faced with a large number of applicants for a wide range of positions, there is one big potential downfall—for both organizations and the individuals hoping to work for them. Because the systems are based on algorithms, rather than personal review, there’s no opportunity for “benefit of the doubt” when screening applications. They either fit the algorithm, or they don’t.

For applicants, understanding how these systems work and what it means in terms of submitting their information can mean the difference between ending up in a cyber-trash bin and landing an interview.

One very important step that applications should take is ensuring that they use the language the employer is using in their job posting. This language gives hints and clues into the type of words and phrases that the ATS is likely to be screening for. For instance, if a posting for an IT Project Manager says: “Strong knowledge of Agile (Scrum/Kanban) events such as walkthrough, demos, and retrospectives,” use that exact same language in your application. Repeating back to the company the language that they’re using (assuming that you hold these desired qualifications) will boost the odds that your resume will make it through.

Jessica Hernandez is president and CEO of Great Resumes Fast, an executive resume writing service, and previously an HR manager. “I work with clients every day helping them outsmart ATS,” she says. Hernandez offers several tips to help boost the odds of a resume making its way through the system:

  • Avoid putting content in the header or footer of your resume. Some versions of ATS can’t scan content that appears here, says Hernandez. In addition, she says: “Avoid putting your name or contact information in the header to prevent ATS from dismissing your resume.”
  • Be careful about including “post-nominal titles,” Hernandez advises—e.g. Ph.D., RN, CFP. Systems may read these abbreviations as part of the candidate’s name which can cause issues. Instead, she suggests, including these qualifications in the career summary and education sections.
  • Use standard headers like “Professional Experience” and “Education,” and “label your certifications so they’ll scan into the correct section too.”
  • Live links may also cause problems, says Hernandez. “While you always want to include contact information including your name, address, email address, phone number, and LinkedIn URL, you can cause problems by making your email address or LinkedIn link live. Some older ATS software will read a live link as a virus – and not every employer has the newest versions of ATS with all the most technologically up-to-date features.”

But, says Jeff Magnuson, an independent marketing and brand consultant, “I don’t believe anyone knows how to outsmart the electronic application systems.” His advice: don’t apply online! “If candidates want to get noticed, they need to take the innovative approach of mailing—not emailing—their resume, with a specific cover letter, to the hiring manager and not to HR.” Getting a job, he says, requires standing out from the masses, just as when marketing a product or service. “If a job seeker really wants a position, he or she needs to do what other people are not doing. Simply applying online with everyone else just diminishes a candidate’s likelihood of being spotted.”

LinkedIn is the go-to source for finding information on who the hiring manager for a particular position is, he says. From there, “a company’s mailing address is a keystroke away on Google.”

It is possible to stand out from the masses and make it through what can sometimes be cumbersome ATS processes. As with many things, these days, the right combination of digital and traditional approaches can do the trick.

 

 

 

According to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, the number people working at home has risen by 115 percent since 2005; that’s almost 10 times faster than growth in other sectors. And, this number doesn’t take into account those who are self-employed.

It’s not unusual for IT pros to work remotely, or virtually. When they do, and especially for those who may be introverts, it can be tough to stay in touch. But that’s exactly what you need to do.

That trite saying “out of sight, out of mind” is trite for a reason—because it’s true! In the traditional workplace, “watercooler conversations” are a common means of staying connected. Employees pass each other in the hallways, run into each other in the lunchroom, say “hi” and “bye” in the parking lot and interact in a variety of ways, formal and casual, throughout the day.

Remote workers don’t have these same opportunities for interaction. And, while there’s some benefit to this—more productivity, for instance—there are also drawbacks. Forming and nurturing connections with coworkers, managers, senior leaders and others can have a wide range of benefits.

So, how can you keep communication channels open when working remotely?

Be Mindful

Recognize the fact that communication between yourself and others is important and that it is likely to be more challenging when working remotely than when in the workplace. Considering that communication can be very challenging within the workplace, should alert you to the potential for issues to emerge when working remotely.

If you tend to be an introvert, being mindful of the importance of interaction is particularly important. While you may draw your energy and inspiration from being alone, you must make an effort to connect with others to be successful in your remote role.

Become Adept with Multiple Tools

There are a variety of tools that can make it easy to connect with colleagues whether they’re in the work environment, or also working remotely. If you’re working for a single organization, make sure to become adept using whatever tools they have in place to communicate with remote staff. Or, if they don’t have any tools in place, or the tools are clunky, make some recommendations about other options.

If you work with a variety of clients, you likely enjoy both the benefits and potential frustration of needing to learn and use a variety of tools. That variety can actually be a good thing, though, because it can help you identify those tools that work best for you—and that might work better for your clients than what they’re currently using.

This Groove blog post lists a number of tools (including Groove, of course).

Schedule Times to Connect

Don’t leave communication to chance. One of the best ways to ensure that you’re staying connected is to schedule regular times to connect with key members of the work team. That may be a quick morning check-in, or a weekly session to discuss progress and upcoming deliverables. You may need to schedule different types of interactions with different people, or teams. Getting these regularly scheduled events on your calendar will ensure that you’re staying in touch.

Don’t Overlook Personal Connections

When working remotely, it’s easy for any communications you have to be all about business. But working effectively with others means also connecting on a personal level. Take the time to do that by:

  • Not diving right into business when starting a call
  • Using video-enabled tools like Skype to get more personal – putting a face (and voice) with a name is important
  • Ask to be looped in on company communications—news- or e-letters, company-wide announcements, etc., so you can stay on top of what’s going on
  • Acknowledge special days or occasions of those you interact with—birthdays, promotions, etc.; it only takes a moment to send a quick email or, better yet, pick up the phone and connect personally, but your efforts will mean a lot
  • Speaking of the phone…don’t over-rely on tools like e-mail, group chat or other electronic means of communication; a phone call can deliver a much more personal touch

Making an effort to connect personally, as well as professionally, will help to ensure that you’re “in mind” for your coworkers and other members of the organization.

Stay Engaged

This is all about caring. You really need to care about the people you work for and the company you work for and make a personal effort to stay engaged—to not blow off meetings or calls, to make an effort to learn about the people you work with, to check in from time to time—even when formal meetings aren’t scheduled. It requires effort, but that effort will pay off.

Aim for Face Time if Possible

Finally, if possible, find times when you can connect with members of your team face to face. If you’re located in the same city, obviously, you can do this more regularly than if you’re located across the country—or in another country.

Despite the ability of technology to allow us to work with anyone, from anywhere, there are times when making contact face-to-face really makes a difference.

Warning Signs That a Job May Not Be Right for You

Over the years Amazon has taken some heat for its “terrible” culture stemming back to 2015 and a blistering piece in The New York Times. But whether the culture is terrible, or not, is really a matter of perception and personal opinion. The determination of whether a corporate culture is effective, or not (and effective is really a better descriptor than “good”) has to do with whether the company achieves its goals.

It’s not really about good, or bad—it’s about fit. And that’s one of the first considerations that a prospective employee should bring to mind when considering whether a job may be right for them.

People who are competitive, hard-driving and thrive on pressure, tough deadlines and direct feedback will likely thrive in Amazon’s culture. People who prefer a more laid-back, collegial atmosphere probably won’t.

One person’s great job can be another’s worst nightmare. It may have nothing at all to do with the company, or the position, but a lot to do with you—your preferences, values and work habits. What warning signs should you be alert to when considering a job offer?

Personal Values

Much of what determines whether or not a job will be a good fit are your own personal values, beliefs and expectations. A good starting point when seeking a job, or thinking about changing jobs, is to think about your own personal mission statement.

Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People popularized the concept in his book. Personal mission statements, just like organizational mission statements, serve as a foundation against which to measure, compare or consider various decisions. Your person mission statement, then, can be a guidepost to help you determine jobs that may, or may not be a good fit. A company with values that don’t align with your values is not likely to be a good fit.

Little Signs

During the job application, interview and screening process you are likely to encounter a number of signs—subtle, and not so subtle—that can give you some clues about what working at the company might be like:

  • Are employees friendly? Do they greet each other—and you—when they encounter you, or do they turn away?
  • Do employees seem happy? Do you see employees chatting with each other in the hallways? Are they smiling? Or are they sitting at their desks, behind doors, looking frustrated or frazzled?
  • What is the environment like? Is it clean, modern, open and light—or cluttered, even dirty; cramped and dark? Are desks, furnishings and equipment in good condition suggesting that the company is willing to invest in its employees—or old, dilapidated and worn out, suggesting an environment that might be extremely budget conscious?
  • Has the job been open for a long time, or is it a job that seems to be posted frequently?
  • Why did the former person in the job leave? If it was for an internal promotion, great! If you ask the question and the interviewing team seems uncomfortable, perhaps not so good.

Take advantage of the time you have to personally interact with a company—not only the hiring team, but others you encounter while you’re on site. Those interactions can tell you a lot, if you’re attuned to the signs.

The Critical Questions

There will come a point in most interviews when you’re asked whether you have any questions for the interviewer(s); you should. This is your opportunity to delve into some of the issues that will help you determine whether, or not, the company will be a good fit. For instance:

  • If you’re applying for a managerial position and want to get a sense of the level of authority you may have, you might ask about your level of sign-off for expenses, and the approval process. A response of: “Managers can approve up to $50, anything over that amount needs to go to their director and the CFO for approval” sends a clear signal that this may be a very tight ship.
  • If corporate social responsibility is important to you, you might ask about the causes that the company supports and opportunities that employees have to get involved, or about whether the company allows time off for volunteerism.

The point is that you will have an opportunity during the recruitment process to ask the critical questions that can help you determine whether this job is right for you.

Does the Company Have a Bad Reputation?

Just as prospective employers should check into the backgrounds of their applicants, prospective employees should check into the reputation of the companies they’re considering working for. That’s relatively easy to do these days with sites like Glassdoor providing transparent insights into what it’s like to work for a wide range of companies—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Companies take these reviews seriously; you should too.

In addition to Glassdoor, LinkedIn can be a good source of information and insights into company culture and climate. Are you connected to anyone who works, or has worked, for the company you’re considering? A simple search on LinkedIn for the company name will quickly tell you. If not directly connected, you can always find mutual connections to help make an introduction.

Check out the company’s social media sites—including any sites that may belong to company leaders or employees. You can glean some key information about the style and tone of the organization by reviewing how the company, and its staff members, respond to online comments—and the nature of those comments.

Finally, heed the subtle warning signs that may be keeping you up at night. Don’t accept a job that just doesn’t seem to be a fit. It probably isn’t.

What’s up with IT certifications?

Technology and IT certifications are a frequently discussed topic in the realm of tech onboarding.

On one side of the argument, you have those who believe IT certifications aren't a great differentiator in an industry that evolves at a rate faster than the highest setting in video game franchise SimCity (jaguar). Dice contributor David Bolton asserted there are some technologies that certainly don't change that often, but a certification still does not provide any proficiencies that you couldn't learn on your own – for cheaper to boot. The most important point, however, is that some jobs don't demand their IT pros have certifications. While correct, that there are many other companies that do want to see these third-party indications of skills and talents.

"65% of organizations use IT certificates to distinguish between similar job candidates."

In fact, it seems that more hiring managers are looking for certifications than you might think. According to CompTIA data cited by CIO, 65 percent of organizations use cybercertificates to distinguish between two job candidates with similar experience and resumes, while 72 perfect of surveyed companies said they demand IT certifications if you apply for a specific position.

Perhaps the debate will always continue. After all, IT certifications are not absolutely necessary – at least right now.

However, that doesn't mean they are worthless. The opposite is true. Tech-specific certificates from accredited and well-known institutes and organizations can help you earn more.

A matter of dollars and cents
ZDNet highlighted a Foote Partners report that discovered IT certification ownership equates to bigger paychecks. According to the source, application developers with certifications in programming languages are likely to earn 0.9 percent more than those without accreditation, while networking and communications pros who become certified in their trade will make 1.2 percent more than individuals lacking that training. On the higher end, system administration and engineering certifications could help raise your salary by 2.5 percent.

In regard to dollars, it just makes sense to seek out IT certifications, especially if you're looking for employment in the one of these three sectors: cybersecurity, networking or business. According to John Hales, software-defined networking, VMware and SoftLayer instructor at Global Knowledge, one of his employer's surveys found that those few areas of corporate IT will pay you more if you are certified in affiliated skills. Specifically, Hales listed roles such as information security manager, information systems auditor, project manager, systems engineer and ScrumMaster as the highest-paying positions where certifications are required.

IT certifications often lead to higher pay.IT certifications often lead to higher pay.

The type of certification is up to you
Most interestingly about Global Knowledge's data, many of the IT certifications that pay the big bucks are closely affiliated with propriety tech solutions. For example, being certified in Cisco routing and switching, Citrix virtualization, Microsoft systems engineering, VMware data center virtualization, Amazon Web Services solutions architecture and Red Hat systems administration will earn you a large salary – ranging from approximately $90,000 to around $120,000 per year.

On the other side of the table, there are certifications in general skills groups that are just as valuable as vendor-specific ones. Project management, for instance, is a highly prized certificate, and if you're looking for a job in IT helpdesk support, CompTIA A+, a certification that demonstrates an understanding of tech solutions from all types of vendors, is essential to getting paid a premium.

Simply put, you will want to seek out a certification that best aligns with your interests and job opportunities.

"List IT certifications in a specific section of your resume."

Explaining your experience
Unfortunately, getting an IT certification might be the easiest part of the process for you, as it all comes down to demonstrating these learned proficiencies in both written and verbal form – sometimes you might even be tested in person.

Starting with the resume, you should list certifications in a specific section of your resume, fully spelling out and dating the month and year that you were accredited, as well as adding the abbreviation in hopes of that sticking out at a quick glance. List them in reverse chronological order, as this will put the most relevant and freshest skills at the top, making them easily seen. Make sure that you include more than just the title of the certification, detailing exactly what you learned and aligning those talents and proficiencies with keywords from the initial job posting.

In person, keep it simple and brief when it comes to listing and explaining your certifications. If you're in front of a hiring manager, don't use abbreviations since that will seem like a foreign language. As a note, if you're currently taking courses for a certification, tell them why you chose that area of expertise.

If it comes down to a test, just stick with what you know, but in that regard, don't forget to brush up the day before an interview.

Whatever side of the IT certification argument you stand on, don't ever discount the value of third-party accreditation in the tech sector. Technology is constantly evolving, and you must grow alongside it.

Hackathon hacks: Getting noticed [Video]

Hackathons are the new black, as many IT professionals seek out these events in hopes of landing a job. But what’s the secret to success?

Hi, and welcome to the APN video blog!

In October, the U.S. General Services Administration held its second annual hackathon with the intention of finding tech talent. Specifically, the GSA was looking for front-end Web and back-end API developers, UX designers and more, since these events allow tech pros to network in person.

Hackathons are a great way to get noticed, but therein lies the problem: How can you get noticed?

First, make sure you prepare. Research past events, find a good team with a wide variety of skills and familiarize yourself with languages being used.

Next, don’t waste time on basics. If there is example code, use it.

Lastly, remember that presentation matters. Showcasing what you’ve done is your chance to shine.

That’s all. Thanks for joining us on the APN video blog!

Why IT pros should learn F# [Video]

According to TIOBE, F# placed in 35th position in regard to programming language popularity, but its use is set to rise meteorically in the coming months and years.

Hi, and welcome to the APN Consulting video blog!

F# is a programming language created by Microsoft Research, and with the release of Visual Studio 2015, the tech world was introduced to F# 4.0. Following this launch, developers should start paying attention to F#.

Open-source and cross-platform capable, this mathematics- and functional-based language is huge in the mobile development realm. In fact, CIO reported that the market value for an individual with F# talents rose 18.2 percent in the past three months alone, making it one of the most valuable languages.

If you’re an IT professional looking to learn a new language, F# is a great choice.

For more information and news on tech hiring, stick with the APN Consulting video blog!

As the business world quickly adopts new digital platforms from customer relationship management software to social media, collections of data continue to grow, exceeding the expectations of many while coming as no surprise to others. Either way, experts agree that these new compendiums of data are critical to the success of organizations competing in today's corporate environment.

Called big data, this enterprise IT trend has evolved dramatically in the past few years, and now businesses demand solutions for managing, analyzing, visualizing and extracting detailed insights from vast collections of structured and unstructured information. With some help from the cloud and better means of finding and comparing data, big data and the analysis of it have become IT department mainstays, and as a result, most organizations are looking for data scientists. These professionals – only sometimes referred to as IT professionals – leverage mathematics, computer science and business expertise to develop big data programs that not only prove valuable but inspire insightful change to corporate practices and policies. In essence, these individuals develop tools or models for analyzing and visualizing actionable information in accordance with business needs.

The road to big data is paved with data scientists.The road to big data is paved with data scientists.

However, there is a problem with regard to data scientists: Businesses are struggling to find a proverbial unicorn who can create optimal data analytics programs, discover insights and apply them to basic corporate rules. According to IBM's Rob Thomas, there are either PhD-possessing data scientists or "fake data scientists," InformationWeek reported. These two types of professionals cannot feasibly support a world built on big data. Those with expensive degrees will expect larger salaries that many businesses simply cannot afford, and the "fakers" are essentially useless.

Thomas suggested the solution lies in the "80 percent" of space between data scientists with PhDs and those who have no idea what they're doing. Those 80 percent of individuals are the sweet spot with some expertise and smaller paychecks.

Power from the people
Enter citizen data scientists. Gartner defined these tech professionals as people who work in predictive and/or prescriptive analytics but are actually masters in a separate field, technique or IT sector. Citizen data scientists won't usurp big data power from those with PhDs. Instead, they will become the core of analytics at organizations that don't demand the most cutting-edge data science initiatives.

The fact of the matter is that there are not enough data scientists out there, and IT professionals who pursue a citizen data science role could find a wealth of employment opportunities. Additionally, with so many businesses in a variety of industries trying to take advantage of big data, there are likely jobs in dozens of sectors with a multitude of different positions and responsibilities.

"Citizen data scientists are now required."

Simply put, citizen data scientists are now required, and every type of organization will be looking for these tech professionals.

Who can be a citizen data scientist?
IT professionals looking for a new sector, a different job or even a way to spice up their typical everyday duties should consider filling the shoes of citizen data scientists. This is because they can come from any background. Programmers can use toolkits to analyze or visualize data, networking professionals can ensure that data flows smoothly between systems, data storage experts can find efficient ways to store information and there is even room for artificial intelligence experts. Obviously some backgrounds are better than others, as Thomas specifically pointed to those with experience in the cloud being good citizen data scientist contenders.

Contributing to Forbes, Margaret Harris of Oracle said that there are generally three different types of data scientists that the majority of organizations are looking for. First, there are data scientists who have a strong background in IT and are familiar with programming for big data platforms. As a note, however, anyone with experience using big data-affiliated languages would be a good fit here.

Second, Harris pointed out that those adept at developing models would be valuable data scientists. They know the steps to take to extract actionable information from complex corporate workflows. These tech professionals could also understand how to uncover predictive models.

Lastly, many citizen data scientists are more familiar with the line of business than the nitty-gritty technical details. IT department managers or supervisors fall into this category along with some professionals who couldn't be further from being tech experts.

Hone those skills
Citizen data scientists might be proficient in some areas and not so much in others, but there is one constant that all potential big data professionals should remember: Citizen data scientists need training and mentors. The whole corporate world must foster the growth of these PhD-free individuals, as there just aren't enough data scientists with specific big data degrees to go around. With support, any IT professional can become a citizen data scientist.

It’s good to be a Chef developer, and with recently released data from the company, there is now hard evidence to back that assertion up.

Hi, and welcome to the APN Consulting video blog!

As DevOps grows in popularity, the automated development kit Chef is becoming one of the most mission-critical tools for major enterprises including Facebook, Best Buy, Yahoo and Nordstrom. And the developers who use Chef are benefiting for this toolkit even more than those organizations.

According to Chef, more than half of software developers using Chef think they will be millionaires in the future, as 69 percent of them agree that their job is “recession-proof.”

So, it should come as no surprise that 91 percent of Chef developers feel as though they are a valuable member of their company’s IT team.

If you’re looking for a role in software development, it looks like Chef skills could land you a job!

Thanks for joining us today, and stick with APN Consulting’s blog for more news and hiring tips.

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