The new data roles, brought to you by AI

AI is creating these new data roles that companies are desperate to fill

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Not matter in what industry you look, artificial intelligence is providing market competitiveness through higher productivity and lower costs. Forrester predicted a 300 percent increase in AI investment in 2017, and Paysa forecasted that US employers alone spent more than $650 million on annual salaries for 10,000 jobs in AI in 2017. And there is no stopping this growth.

IDC predicts a 50 percent annual growth rate for global spending on AI, which they say will reach $57.6 billion by 2021. A survey by Arm showed that 61 percent of consumers said they think AI will make the world a better place, and so it should come as no surprise that a Deloitte report found that 83 percent of the most “aggressive” AI adopters said their business has already seen moderate (53 percent) or substantial (30 percent) benefits from the technology.

However, it’s important to note that CIOs are cautious with AI technology, fearing false results. And that fear is founded by a Garner study that predicts that from now through 2022, 85 percent of “AI projects will deliver erroneous outcomes due to bias in data, algorithms, or the teams responsible for managing them.” Given the high investment companies are making in AI technologies and the high risk of errors, it’s no wonder new AI-based data roles are cropping up as a solution.

New data roles in AI companies are desperate to fill

To adequately prepare for the AI revolution, companies are hiring new data positions steeped in AI technology.

Data curator with AI skills

A data curator bridges the role between business and IT for anything related to data. Since big data is a complicated concept, this person simplifies the data findings, so business executives can make data-driven decisions. In addition to curating data, this position blends data sets, organizes projects for data evaluation, and helps with data analysis. What’s interesting is that technologists want to apply AI technology to this position, creating an automated data curation process. While this could happen in the future, right now anyone working in AI needs someone who can translate the findings for business use.

Machine learning data scientist

This role combines the minds of a machine learning engineer and a data scientist into one. Because both of those jobs require a highly knowledgeable person, finding someone who can meet this new role will be difficult. These two positions top LinkedIn’s study on job growth, showing that machine learning positions grew 9.8 times in the last five years and data scientist positions grew by 6.5 times during the same time period. This person will have knowledge of statistical, machine learning, and deep learning models and algorithms, along with strong coding skills and more than like a master’s degree in computer science, statistics, economics, mathematics, or something similar.

Big data/AI evangelist

Back in 2015, Forbes wrote a piece on why every IT company needs a chief evangelist. The article notes, “An evangelist is a person who builds up support for a given technology, and then establishes it as a standard in the given industry.” Nowhere is this truer than in the big data/AI world. This person needs to garner support for the technology so that companies implement it. But this is no easy feat. Consider this:

  • 51 percent of executives said that adapting and refining a data-driven strategy is the single biggest cultural barrier.
  • 47 percent of executives cited “putting big data learning into action” as an operational challenge.
  • 43 percent noted fostering a culture that rewards use of data and valuing creativity and experimentation with data as key challenges.

The evangelist in this sector will have to break through those challenges to get businesses to sign on to use AI technologies.

Business intelligence developer

A BI developer is like a data curator in that they both bridge the gap between IT and business. A BI developer, however, spends a lot of time finding and planning solutions for problems in the company, typically using data to solve a problem. This person should have a strong understanding of the business so that they can identify and work to improve different aspects of it. Someone in this position can diagnose the health of a business through data models and analytics. With the introduction of AI, this position can not only answer what happened to the business but, more importantly, what will happen next.

What is the future of AI hiring

A study by Adobe revealed that only 15 percent of companies are using AI. But 31 percent said it is on the agenda for the next 12 months. 71 percent of decision-makers see AI as a “business advantage.” And, AI technologies are predicted to increase labor productivity by 40 percent. Using AI technologies allows companies to remain competitive in the market and productive internally, which is why so much investment is going to AI. However, the fear of incorrect data use has CIOs scrambling to find data experts to join internal teams. As the world becomes more data-driven, we can expect positions such as these to rise as businesses compete to hire the top talent in AI and data.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.