The Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet is on the hunt to recruit a data specialist for a newly created role as the state government’s first-ever chief data officer.
The successful applicant will head up the new Victorian “Centre for Data Insights” and will manage a yet-to-be established, highly specialised data analytics team.
The announcement for the new Victorian centre in May 2016, followed the NSW opening of the Data Analytics Centre in August 2015, which currently operates as a team of roughly 25 specialists.
According to the Victorian government job listing, the chief data officer will help to transform the way the Victorian Government uses data to inform policy making and service design. The job also encompasses “a whole-of-government role” in leading the better use of data for decision making in the state.
The state is offering a salary between $202,489 and $324,100 to IT professionals with “extensive experience” in data management.
“The ideal candidate will have executive level experience in major data transformation projects and implementation, as well as experience providing advice at the highest levels of government.”
Data experts in demand
The new role opens up as recent research by Robert Half reveals that the majority (58 per cent) of Australian CIOs view data security and database management are the key functional areas within IT and technology, which will create the greatest number of jobs over the next five years.
The demand for IT professionals within these functional area can be attributed to the rise of businesses increasing their advanced methodologies and adoption of big data practices.
As a result, governments are becoming increasingly dedicated to using insights gained from their mounds of data to decipher policy pain points and potentially improve state operations.
“Companies are operating in an increasingly data-driven market, and by utilising big data businesses are able to make informed and strategic decisions,” said Robert Half senior managing director for Asia Pacific, David Jones.
“With the right IT talent to properly manage databases and maximise the potential of big data analytics, organisations can focus more on their customer needs, identify new trends and unlock new business opportunities. Because of this, IT professionals who specialise in big data will find themselves in increasing demand over the next few years.”
Based on recent research, the recruitment firm said there will be particular demand for database administrators, business intelligence developers and data analysts, all of whom will need to be skilled in SSIS, SSRS and SSAS systems.
Increase in automation levels the expert playing field
Meanwhile, Gartner research vice president, Alexander Linden believes the increase in automation and intelligent machines will bridge the skills gap between mainstream self-service analytics by business users and the advanced analytics techniques of data scientists.
By being equipped with the right tools, citizen data scientists are now able to aggregate sophisticated analysis that would have previously required more expertise, according to Gartner research director, Joao Tapadinhas.
As a result, the firm said a larger audience of analysts will be empowered to become citizen data scientists and consequently, demand for jobs in the field will continue to rise.
Specifically, Gartner predicts citizen data scientists will surpass professional data scientists in the amount of advanced analysis produced by 2019 as a vast amount of analysis produced will “feed and impact business”.
The firm predicted that more than 40 per cent of data science tasks will be automated by 2020.