Two approaches to the use of big data that amount to one thing: Controlling large amounts of information that can then be retrieved in attractive and useful ways.
Alternative job titles for this role
- Data analyst
- Data visualization analyst
- Data scientist
Data virtualisation allows you to retrieve and manipulate data without needing to know all the technical details about the data, such as how it is formatted or where it is physically located. So, when you upload a photo to, for instance, a social media site the software behind it does all the work for you – this is the virtualisation layer. Data visualisation is the part of the software that you also don’t see but which presents the data in a pictorial or graphical format. Visualisation and Virtualisation analysts are the wizards behind the curtain of complex applications and Big Data.
What the job involves
- Make complex data more accessible, understandable and usable
- Use visualisation tools to communicate information clearly and efficiently to users through graphics, plots, information graphics, tables, and charts to name a few.
- Make large data sets useful and meaningful
- Virtualisation involves manipulating data from lots of sources and making it accessible from a single place
- Transform, improve and integrate data, depending on the business requirements
- Combine the data result sets across multiple sources (also known as the data federation)
- Deliver the data in a useful and appealing way to users
How your career can develop
There is enormous scope for specialisation and career progression for experienced data visualisation and virtualisation analysts, especially now as Cloud Computing has grown exponentially. Postgraduate qualifications are common in this career path.
- Excellent analytical skills
- Ability to work with large amounts of information and see the “bigger picture”
- Comfortable with juggling facts, figures, and number crunching
- Communication skills, both written and oral
- Critical thinking: Able to look at numbers, trends, and data and come to new conclusions based on the findings
- Attention to detail
- Excellent maths skills
- Specialist software development houses
- Consulting firms
- Telecommunications firms
- Public sector organisations
- Social media
- Graduate/Starting €45,000
- Senior/Potential €75,000
A bachelor's degree is the most common access point for most entry-level jobs, and a master's degree will be needed for many upper-level jobs. Most analysts will have degrees in fields such as maths, statistics, computer science or software engineering.
Irish Software Association: www.software.ie
Irish Computer Society: www.ics.ie
Irish Software Research Centre: www.lero.ie