BI a busy field for hiring: recruiters

Good candidates command high rates as BI use expands
  • David Watson (Unknown Publication)
  • 20 September, 2011 22:00

Business intelligence is becoming an increasingly busy area of IT hiring, say recruiters who source BI staff for clients.

Kelly Services head of professional and technical Anna Williams says BI recruitment trends have changed significantly over the past few years, as BI has become more widely recognised and demand for BI staff has grown.

“Business Intelligence is an area that has recently picked up in New Zealand and held up well in the recession,” Williams says.

“In the last few years, only medium to large sized enterprises that have been working with large volumes of data had custom-built BI tools, while also working with off-the-shelf BI products.

“However, many businesses have now started data warehousing and are hiring developers to provide insight into the financial, business and human capital performance strategies that will enable them to make better business decisions.”

There is a definite trend towards smaller organisations using BI, she says.

“We have also noticed that many specialist boutique data warehousing and BI firms are now offering consulting services to small- to medium-sized businesses that don’t have these tools in-house.”

Demand for BI analysts is growing at a rate of 20 percent per year, she says.

“As ever, IT candidate shortage is a major issue for New Zealand, as companies are using varied BI tools that are specific to their business needs.

“These skills are very limited for the New Zealand market and companies are willing to hire candidates form overseas if they have the right skills.

“The skills that the companies are looking for include Business Objects, Cognos, Datastage, Wherescape RED, Teradata, Microsoft and Oracle-based BI tools.”

Recruitment firm AbsoluteIT provided the following insights into the BI hiring scene in a recent commentary:

“In a nutshell, BI is definitely on the up, with organisations taking a hold in the market with specialist tools, the most utilised of these tools in NZ being: SAP – BW/Business Objects; Oracle – Hyperion/OBIEE/OWB; Microstrategy; Cognos; Microsoft – SSIS/SSAS/SSRS.

“We recognise that outsourcers have been busy, but feel this is more a reflection of the general increase in BI rather than a specific move towards outsourcing BI capability.

“BI by its nature requires and generates a large amount of IP, which is better retained in-house and most large corporates (such as banks, Fonterra, insurers and telcos) have their own in-house BI teams and will use an outsource partner for specific pieces of work.”

Many organisations with diverse BI tools are seeking to consolidate their BI, AbsoluteIT says.

“BI has often had separate teams within an enterprise, with marketing, finance et cetera, all with their own tools.

“There has been a move to merge these and utilise common tools, saving money in licensing and resources.

Due to the IP issues, “most companies would rather have permanent members of staff but do use contractors, or a partner, for work with more specific tools such as RED, Business Objects and SAS.”

AbsoluteIT says remuneration in the BI space has “definitely increased within the past six months.”

According to the firm’s data, average contract rates in 2010 were $640 per day, compared with $760 per day this year, for a contractor with five years or more BI implementation experience.

Average permanent salaries were $115,000 last year, and $130,000 this year.