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Big Data is Big Business in Columbus—And These Jobs Are On The Rise

Franklin University Franklin University Big Data is Big Business in Columbus—And These Jobs Are On The Rise
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Big Data is no longer a trendy phrase. It’s an essential business strategy. Big Data is being used by businesses of all sizes to gain a competitive edge in areas like: 

  • Innovation and product development
  • Advertising and marketing insights
  • Customer acquisition and retention
  • Risk management
  • Operational efficiency 

The sheer volume and accessibility of data is not only changing business decision-making, but also shifting the job market. The prominence of Big Data requires a new type of professional to harness the power of data to inform business decisions. 

“There are needs for data professionals at every stage of the data lifecycle,” says Dr. Nimet Alpay, program chair of Franklin University’s Master’s Degree in Data Analytics. “From getting and cleaning data to managing, governing, analyzing and reporting, all the way to predictive analytics and forecasting—all of these areas are in need of qualified data professionals.”

The Growth of Data Professionals in Columbus

So how are these labor trends impacting the Columbus job market? In short, it’s dominating job postings across industries, organizations, and departments. Job growth is outpacing national averages for five of the top data-driven job categories: operations research analysts, management analysts, computer and information research scientists, medical and health services managers, and market research analysts.

These five professions alone account for 16,924 jobs in Columbus and have grown by 72.3% in Columbus in the past 10 years, which is 12.9% more than the national average of 59.4%. 

Want to know more about these jobs and how you can prepare for a promising data-driven career? Let’s look at each in more detail.

5 In-Demand Careers in Columbus for Data Professionals

If you’re passionate about data, there are plenty of ways to earn a living doing what you love. From profitability to policymaking and patient care, data is playing an integral role in advancing the industries that dominate the Columbus economy. Let’s look at how these jobs use data to make an impact in their organizations, and the salaries and growth potential surrounding these occupations.

Operations Research Analysts

Operations research analysts use advanced mathematical and analytical methods to help solve complex business challenges.

“Predictive analytics and artificial intelligence are more prominent than ever,” says Dr. Alpay. “An immense amount of data is readily available, as well as affordable storage and computing power, making it easier than ever for businesses to access and process, but they need the manpower to turn it into actionable insights.” 

Operations research analysts do exactly that. They compile and analyze a range of quantitative and qualitative data using statistical analysis, simulations, and predictive modeling to develop practical and efficient solutions to pressing problems facing businesses of all kinds. 

Columbus Job Outlook: 

  • Median Salary: $78,891.46
  • Top 10% Salary: $120,085.07
  • Expected Job Growth in Columbus: 22% (2019 – 2029)
  • Recommended Education: Master’s in Business Analytics

Competitive salaries and continued growth make this an appealing role for data professionals.

Management Analysts

Management analysts are responsible for improving organizational efficiency. 

“Companies large and small are looking for ways to get a competitive edge,” says Dr. Alpay. “When it comes to management, especially when you’re making decisions that impact organizational structure and culture, you need to understand the data behind every decision. While some of these skills can be learned on the job, many professionals look to advanced degrees to understand how they can make the data they have more impactful for their organization.”

That’s why management analysts are essential for operational efficiency. Management analysts use financial, personnel and industry data to help implement new systems, procedures and organizational changes that will improve productivity and, ultimately, the profitability of companies across different industries. 

Columbus Job Outlook: 

  • Median Salary: $76,260.28
  • Top 10% Salary: $134,379.38
  • Expected Job Growth in Columbus: 10% (2019 – 2029) 
  • Recommended Education: Master’s in Business Analytics

The demand for management analysts is expected to continue growing at a faster than average pace, and can bring in high salaries for those in the top 10%. 

Computer and Information Research Scientists

Computer and information research scientists, also referred to as data scientists, write algorithms to detect and analyze patterns in very large datasets, improving ways to sort, manage, and display data. 

“Columbus is a hub for technology talent and it’s only becoming more popular,” says Dr. Alpay. “There’s an especially large opportunity for data scientists because you need clean, unbiased data to make decisions. When you’re dealing with data, we say ‘garbage in, garbage out.’ You can’t correctly analyze data that isn’t collected, organized and managed properly.”

Without computer and information research scientists, data analysts can’t do their job. These professionals provide the foundation for business intelligence and gaining a competitive advantage.

Columbus Job Outlook: 

  • Median Salary: $100,069.76
  • Top 10% Salary: $172,101.25
  • Expected Job Growth in Columbus (2019-2029): 19%
  • Recommended Education: Master’s in Data Analytics

The low supply of highly-qualified talent puts these professionals in an advantageous position when it comes to career opportunities, advancement and salary.

Medical and Health Services Managers

One of the most noteworthy specialties within medical and health services management is health informatics, where professionals are responsible for the maintenance and security of all patient records and data. 

“Health informatics is a quickly-growing area for data and analytics professionals,” says Dr. Alpay. “They have the power to help make better-informed decisions in terms of health policies, patient care and disease treatments. It’s a rapidly changing field that’s very exciting for data professionals who want to be on the cutting-edge.”

Healthcare organizations need to understand evolving information technology, current or proposed laws about health information systems, and trends in managing large amounts of complex data—which is the essential role of a health informatics manager. 

Columbus Job Outlook:

  • Median Salary: $92,392.78
  • Top 10% Salary: $160,757.05
  • Expected Job Growth in Columbus (2019-2029): 20%
  • Recommended Education: Master’s in Health Informatics 

Columbus is home to major hospital systems, research centers, healthcare technology companies, and public health organizations—all of which require health informatics managers to ensure the safe and accurate collection of data. 

Market Research Analysts

Market research analysts gather data to help a company market its products or services. 

“Market research analysts in Columbus can help develop or solidify a company’s place in the market and in consumer minds,” says Dr. Alpay. “Retail is one of the industries in Columbus where market research analysts can make a direct impact, as well as the prominent startup scene in Columbus.” 

Market research analysts harness the power of qualitative and quantitative data on consumer demographics, preferences, needs, and buying habits. They help inform how a company positions itself in the marketplace to differentiate its offer from competitors and inform pricing, sales, and marketing strategies.

Columbus Job Outlook:

  • Median Salary: $64,386.64
  • Top 10% Salary: $107,517.42
  • Expected Job Growth in Columbus (2019-2029): 16%
  • Recommended Education: Master’s in Business Analytics 

Solid median salaries and large growth potential attract data professionals to market research roles in Columbus.

Data Careers Will Continue to Drive the Future of Business in Columbus

As a rising data and technology city, Columbus is the perfect place to further your education and your data and analytics career. Companies large and small continue to make significant investments in the Columbus market and they will need talented data and analytics professionals to fuel their success.

This article is one installment of the Jobs & Education Outlook series, presented with paid support by Franklin University.

Franklin University is an accredited and nonprofit college in Columbus that has been dedicated to educating adults since 1902. The University offers a variety of career-focused online analytics master’s programs. For more information, visit franklin.edu.

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