According to a McKinsey estimate, India would need more than two lakh data scientists in the next few years, given the fact that the rate of explosion of data will be double that of the world average in the coming years.

Big data refers to a collection of data sets or information too large and complex to be processed by standard tools. It is about the art and science of combining enterprise data, social data and machine data to derive new insights, which are otherwise not possible. It is also about combining past data with real-time data to predict outcomes (Source: ‘The Hindu’ dated November 12, 2013)

Big Data Analytics helps us better understand and predict buying trends, gather and analyse information about competitors, improve online and in-store sales, gather feedback on the success of marketing campaigns and analyse consumers’ feelings regarding a product or a brand. Organizations are investing in these tools because they directly bring revenue to them.

Many Universities in the US are offering courses on Big Data Analytics. In Europe HEC, Paris has recently tied up with IBM to offer a course in Business Analytics. In India, ISB, Hyderabad, VIT University, Chennai and the SSN University, Chennai offer programmes in business analytics.

Salaries in the analytics industry in India have been increasing faster than the average for the last 10 years. This trend will continue in 2014 as well. Entry level salaries will grow by 5-10 per cent and for those with five years of experience; it will grow by 10-15 per cent. The entry level annual salary for data analytics professional is Rs. 6-9 lakh while it is Rs. 5-8 lakh for big data professionals.

So, if you are engineering, commerce or a science graduate with a flair for statistics, you can embellish your skills with a degree in management, and launch yourself into a rewarding career in Big Data and Business Analytics.

(Sources: ‘The Economist’ dated Dec.11, 2013 and VIT Chennai website)

This article is by Prof. Ramaseshan. He teaches Organisational Behaviour and HRM at VIT Business School.