Thirst for better data analysis drives demand for data architecture skills

Recent survey finds that experienced data architects can command average salaries of nearly $125,000

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With businesses looking to mine their vast amounts of data for a competitive edge, data architecture skills are in great demand and can lead to hefty salaries, an analyst report reveals.

Data architecture was ranked number 1 in the highest-paid noncertified skills list featured in the Foote Partners IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index covering the fourth quarter of 2013. A senior data architect with 10 or more years experience could command an average salary approaching $125,000, according to David Foote, chief analyst at Foote Partners. "It's just on fire," with data architecture and database skills demand likely being driven somewhat by data analytics and big data, Foote said.

"Mainly, what's happening now and why I think database developers, database administrators, [and] data architects are becoming so popular is because companies are just awash in unstructured data," Foote said. Companies like Amazon have shown they can succeed by being data-driven, he said. Now, others are picking up on this idea. Data architecture is a place to start when it comes to analyzing data, Foote said.

But usually people holding other titles are getting paid for data architecture skills, said Foote, and those people in other positions could command a premium for having these skills. "Data architects generally would not receive data architecture skills pay because, after all, data architecture is their job, and for that they earn a salary," he said. "So who receives data architecture skills pay? Database developers, data modelers, data analysts and database analysts, database administrators, a bunch of data warehousing jobs are the ones that come to mind first."

Foote's index tracks market values for IT skills and certifications, getting feedback from 500 to 600 people who make decisions on skills acquisition. Looking at 650 skill sets, the company maintains a base of about 2,600 companies in the United States and Canada for conducting its analysis. Both noncertified and certified skills are examined. This InfoWorld slideshow runs down the top 15 noncertified skills employers want, according to Foote's survey.

This story, "Thirst for better data analysis drives demand for data architecture skills ," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.