Sunday, March 1, 2009

Declining Business Intelligence Jobs in 2009?

For some time now, I have used Monster job searches to gauge demand for Business Intelligence technologies. What I failed to do, however, was keep a good record. Had I done that, I might have been able to spot BI trends. So that became my 2009 New Year's Resolution: do a consistent monthly BI job search and ponder the results.

Comparing Monster U.S. job postings in February 2009 to the previous month, I see a marked decline for BI keywords. For the standard products (e.g., SAS, Cognos, Business Objects, Reporting Services, etc.), my unscientific study shows 22% fewer job postings (5,923 openings in January and 4,594 in February).

SAS has the biggest demand within BI and it appears to be growing, at least as a percentage of the total BI jobs in the United States. In January, SAS jobs accounted for 20% of the total standard BI jobs and increased to almost 26% in February.

The open source keywords (BIRT, Pentaho, Jaspersoft, and QlikTech) experienced a much bigger decline -- 36% -- although the small number of job postings for these technologies probably makes the change meaningless (25 and 16 for January and February, respectively).

I also looked for a job posting trend for programming language keywords such as COBOL, RPG, C++, Java, and .NET. While demand for these also declined, the drop was less than that for BI products -- down only 6% (13,109 postings in January to 12,308 in February). Within this category, demand for Java far exceeded any other programming language.

Now that I have committed this New Year's Resolution to you, I will try to keep it up each month (perhaps I should have blogged about a weight loss/exercise plan!).

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I am a project-based software consultant, specializing in automating transitions from legacy reporting applications into modern BI/Analytics to leverage Social, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Visualizations, and Predictive Analytics using Information Builders' WebFOCUS. Based on scores of successful engagements, I have assembled proven Best Practice methodologies, software tools, and templates.

I have been blessed to work with innovators from firms such as: Ford, FedEx, Procter & Gamble, Nationwide, The Wendy's Company, The Kroger Co., JPMorgan Chase, MasterCard, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Siemens, American Express, and others.

I was educated at Valparaiso University and the University of Cincinnati, where I graduated summa cum laude. In 1990, I joined Information Builders and for over a dozen years served in regional pre- and post-sales technical leadership roles. Also, for several years I led the US technical services teams within Cincom Systems' ERP software product group and the Midwest custom software services arm of Xerox.

Since 2007, I have provided enterprise BI services such as: strategic advice; architecture, design, and software application development of intelligence systems (interactive dashboards and mobile); data warehousing; and automated modernization of legacy reporting. My experience with BI products include WebFOCUS (vendor certified expert), R, SAP Business Objects (WebI, Crystal Reports), Tableau, and others.