Sunday, January 7, 2007

Surveying the BI Salary Surveys

Ever wonder if you are compensated appropriately for your work as a BI professional? Below is some salary information I've gleaned from various sites and consolidated for your convenience.

Computerworld's Smart Salary Tool 2006 shows Data Warehousing Managers at $116,452 in 2006, a 4.17% increase of 2005. Be wary, since the job description was a bit general: "Develops and implements information management strategies. Coordinates and manages information management solutions. Manages all aspects of the warehouses such as data sourcing, migration, quality, design and implementation." Another reason to be suspicious: the sample size is quite low (i.e., approximately 37.)

A few other outputs from this tool (salary + bonus):

  • Data Warehousing Managers: $116,452
  • Business intelligence analyst: $76,045
  • Database analyst*: $66,917
  • Database architect*: $105,088
  • Database developer/modeler*: $72,788
See this site for a summary table.

Certification Magazine also published a survey with 2006 salary information. Craig Mullens did a good job of summarizing the results in this post. Of note, certified DBA's came in with an average salary of $83,790. This ranged widely depending on the type of RDMS. For more information refer to Craig's post, the original article, or the summary jpg with results.

Of course, The Data Warehouse Institute (TDWI) does a very exhaustive annual salary survey for BI called "2006 TDWI Salary, Roles, AND Responsibility Report." Membership is required to view this. A few of the highlights (for year 2005):

  • BI director: $117,260 + average bonus of $20,104 received by 75%
  • Lead architect: $107,239 + average bonus of $12,517 received by 53%
  • BI tools manager/developer: $86,757 + average bonus of $9,059 received by 64%
  • ETL manager/developer: $79,937 + average bonus of $8,397 received by 55%
  • Data analyst/modeler: $80,130 + average bonus of $8,653 received by 57%
  • Technical architect/systems analyst: $80,984 + average bonus of 9,683 received by 52%
I highly recommend the TDWI report. It'd almost be worth the membership. It has a lot of detail, job descriptions, etc behind the numbers. Salary Center also does salary surveys. An analysis of the DW/BI-related provided the following (salary + bonus):

Thoughts? Any surveys or positions I missed?

* Indicates that these figures are not necessary related specifically to BI.


Friday, January 5, 2007

Articles/Blogs of the Week: 01/05/2007

Every week, we try to outline the best articles and blogs from the past week. Below are the articles/blogs for this week:

  • CDC without triggers, timestamps, or other source table modifications. This is a post by Milind Zodge that I think provides a unique approach to dealing with Change Data Capture (CDC).
  • 2007 Vital Signs Flat budgets and slow hiring are on tap for 2007, according to our quarterly survey of IT executives. Most interesting in this article is the impact of all things data throughout the statistics. Two of three "top priorities" were data related, as well as the #1 item listed under "Quick Hits. (Data management/business analytics)
  • Aetna to offer patients access to online data. If you're not in healthcare, don't read this article. I'll quote the most interesting / BI related item for your convenience: "An analytic engine developed by Aetna subsidiary ActiveHealth Management Inc. will analyze daily the information in [a database with patient data in it] and notify a patient if anything in the data falls out of line with commonly accepted best practices, said Robert Heyl, architect manager of Aetna’s E-Health business unit. For example, he said, if a physician prescribes a medication that would have an adverse reaction with medicine prescribed by another doctor, a patient would be called and e-mailed about the potential problem." That's cool. BI and Data Mining doing some serious good.

Thanks for your time.

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Monday, January 1, 2007

Stat of the Week: 1/1/2007

According to the book, The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture, by John Battelle.

Google uses 175,000 computers to power its search engine.

It's no wonder. Google houses the text of nearly every site on the web. That's big. Now, consider response time of that giant database. For example, the query for business intelligence returns in 73 hundredths of a second. That's fast.

If Google can return queries against the entire World Wide Web in less than 1 second, surely the average Data Warehouse can perform better than it does. Though most of us do not have 175,000 computers at our disposal, we do have clustering, indexes, aggregate navigation, and other mechanisms that can substantially improve performance. "Too much data." can no longer be the response to "Why don't my query run faster?"


Friday, December 29, 2006

Articles/Blogs of the Week: 12/29/2006

Every week, we try to outline the best articles and blogs from the past week. Below are the articles/blogs for this week:
  • Business Unintelligence: I stumbled upon this brief article. Though short, I've added it to this list because of its argument of what "real-time" should mean in BI. Simply, "real time should mean now, not some time in the future, when the data is extracted, loaded, re-consolidated and then inquired upon." In other words, "real time" data is data available immediately. If there is a change in the source, it must be reflected in the reports immediately to be considered real-time. Not 5 seconds, 5 minutes or 5 hours later.
  • The Information Black Hole: This is a rather detailed study of why BI is not delivering the value it should in the UK. I found it interesting.
  • Personas, Customer Value, Customer Retention and Non-line Marketing: This article from the "Occam’s Razor" blog provides some segmentation examples and ideas on how to represent an organization's capabilities vs. customer expectations.
  • Business intelligence expert predictions for 2007: Predictions from "experts" on what 2007 will bring.

Have a Happy New Year from your friends at Thoughts on Business Intelligence


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Top IT Departments Pay More

Many who read my previous posts that say we should pay really good BI developers and analysts more money, understandably had a common response: "Sounds good, but how do I know it will work and how do I convince my boss that it is the right thing to do."

One item for you to use as evidence: According to Intelligent Enterprise, "While the top IT organizations have 24% fewer full-time employees than median organizations, those smaller staffs are generally paid about 24% more than IT professionals at the other companies, says Holland. "

Look at the article -- it is a good one. These "Top" companies pay the good ones more and lose the bad ones. And they are better for it. Not a bad strategy.


Monday, December 25, 2006

Stat of the Week -- 12/26/2006

This Week's Stats are from the Business Intelligence area:

53% of companies surveyed plan to implement front-end query and reporting services in the next 12 months.

37% plan to implement dashboards and scorecards, the close brethren of query/reporting services.

34% plan will take the dashboards and scorecards to the next level with alerts and notifications.

Source: Intelligent Enterprise, based on research from Ventana Research.


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Goes for Business / Systems Analysts, too

In my last post, I mentioned that good developers do not necessarily need/want a promotion to a manager/architect position, just because they are the best developers. Perhaps for some -- paying them more is all that is required.

Responses I've heard from various individuals disagree with me. The main theme in these disagreements is this: With the increased use of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) to comform with the Capability Maturity Model (CMM), developers are called upon to do less and less. This is because SDLC and CMM call for proper and complete documentation. This requires the developer to simply implement what has already been throught through for him/her. So, it stands to reason, you do not need strong developers because the analyst work is already completed. Implementing it is the easy part.

My first response: Due to the poor quality of many of the technical specifications and design, you still need good developers who can work through bad design and documentation. So, my original sentiment holds true. Our industry does not have the quality of analyst required.

My second response: Pay your best analysts more, too! In othe words, take my previous article and replace the word "developer" with "analyst" and I think it still holds true. Find you best analysts and -- if it is in-line with the career path -- do not necessarily promote them, but pay them more.

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