Jesse Green Data architects – a rising profession?

The rise of the data architect in South Africa

 By Jesse Green

With all the trumpet blowing about “big data” and data analysts being the latest in-demand role for the future, Adzuna uncovers one surprising position that is outdoing the rest.

The largest job aggregator in South Africa, Adzuna, has released some research based on all the positions in its index during late May 2018. Demand for “data” vacancies across the board has in fact decreased, as has average salaries.

In fact, positions for “data analyst” are down by 15% compared to similar data for September 2017. “This does not necessarly mean that “data” positions are not needed, in contrast they definitely are, but companies have probably worked out what they require and have already found talent or worked out how to tackle their data needs through outsourcing,” says Adzuna’s Country Manager Jesse Green.

While most of the opportunities in the “data” sphere have seen decreased demand from companies and recruiters, the only significant increase is for the title of “data architect”. There was a marked upswing of almost 30% in average salary (up by 29,8%) and a staggering 91% in roles requiring this title.

While companies have placed adverts for the skills, only about 100 searches in every month correlate to the “data” industry, indicating a very low supply of skills in SA. This could indicate why salaries overall for data skills have dipped, since standing at R490,932 in September 2017, to R437,015 by May, a decline of 11%.

It appears thus that firms require higher levels of skill to form the solution they require, but once this is implemented, the data indicates that companies focus on lower-salaried positions to fill the maintenance teams that uphold their data solutions.

Meanwhile, data architects seem to be the new, refined, sought-after skill within the data arena.