SAS Proves a Most Valuable Skill on Payday

Ever since the world became aware of the analytics skills gap, it seems that every article, whether in the daily news or authored by a scholarly team, has emphasized the need for analytics professionals to show that they have both technical skills and business knowledge.

Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

That isn't going to change any time soon. Now, there are cases where smart organizations that cannot find the right skills balance in a single individual will pair up a skilled techie with an experienced business person in a symbiotic partnership.

But which skill -- tech or business -- is more valuable?

When it comes down to where employers will pay a premium for talented workers, the arrow clearly points to the technology. In fact, big data tools and concepts lead the way in how much of a premium employers will pay.

Regular readers of All Analytics will find it interesting that the single skill that easily tops the list of most valuable skills is knowledge of SAS (SAS is sponsor of this site), according to research by Money magazine and the compensation software company Money and Payscale analyzed 54 million employee profiles and 2,300 skill types, and reported that experience with SAS adds an average of 6.1% to an employee's pay.

Plus, the closest competitors to SAS included "Data Mining/Data Warehousing" at 5.1% and "Data Modeling," tied with several other skill types at 5%. Of course, both of those concepts are enabled by SAS as well.

Other skills that bring a pay premium of 3% to 5% include "Contract Negotiation," "Financial Analysis," "Search Engine Marketing," "Customer Service Metrics," "SAP Material Management," "Strategic Planning," "Risk Management," "IT Security," and "Business Analysis."

Note the trend there, data and analytics play a key role in all of those areas, and, yes, SAS is applicable in most of them.

The Money feature emphasized the need to "make sense of big data" and the value of the "data maven," reporting:

    Although companies have long tracked information about customers, sales, and suppliers, businesses today have access to a far richer vein of information. Every time you click on a website, shop online, watch a video, or do pretty much anything else, you leave behind crumbs of information. “People now create more data in an hour than they used to in a month,” says Traci Fiatte, a group president at Randstad, an international provider of HR services. And thanks to massive improvements in the software that collects, stores, and integrates data, companies can use this information to do things like target new customers, improve service, and offer more personalized products—as long as they employ folks who understand how to organize, analyze, and apply it.

For 20 years we've been hearing about the dawn of the information economy. Salary figures along these lines leave little doubt that said economy is at or near maturity. Yes, data (information) is driving business today.

Look around your own organization. Which skills are most important?

James M. Connolly, Editor of All Analytics

Jim Connolly is a versatile and experienced technology journalist who has reported on IT trends for more than two decades. As editor of All Analytics he writes about the move to big data analytics and data-driven decision making. Over the years he has covered enterprise computing, the PC revolution, client/server, the evolution of the Internet, the rise of web-based business, and IT management. He has covered breaking industry news and has led teams focused on product reviews and technology trends. Throughout his tech journalism career, he has concentrated on serving the information needs of IT decision-makers in large organizations and has worked with those managers to help them learn from their peers and share their experiences in implementing leading-edge technologies through publications including Computerworld. Jim also has helped to launch a technology-focused startup, as one of the founding editors at TechTarget, and has served as editor of an established news organization focused on technology startups and the Boston-area venture capital sector at MassHighTech. A former crime reporter for the Boston Herald, he majored in journalism at Northeastern University.

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Re: SAS Proves a Most Valuable Skill on Payday
  • 6/2/2016 2:29:45 PM

Maybe this will slow the tide of MBAs and reward people for the technical masters.

SAS Proves a Most Valuable Skill on Payday
  • 6/2/2016 10:33:15 AM

Great article, Jim. Powerful insight I plan to share with my son who is majoring in Finance. I hope Universities are keeping up with the Analytics trend, but I fear they face the same challenges faced by many companies- a shortage of the right talent to teach these skills to the next generation.