Data Management as Percentage of IT Staff Declines

October, 2016

Although the amount of data processed and stored is exploding, data management as a percentage of the IT staff has declined for the second year in a row, after formerly being on a slow but steady ascent.

As show in Figure 1 from our study, Data Management Staffing Ratios, data management personnel now account for 3.7% of the typical IT staff at the median, down from its recent peak of 4.3% in 2014.

Data mgmt Fig 1 - Data Management as Percentage of IT Staff Declines

Several factors could be contributing to data management taking up a smaller share of the IT headcount. In the current data climate, certainly the need for data analysis, business analysis, and other data management functions is not declining. It is likely, rather, that the tools in the hands of data management staff are making them more productive. These include cloud-based business analysis and reporting tools. Moreover, analytical tools embedded within application systems, such as ERP, CRM, and HCM systems, and more powerful self-service reporting tools directly in the hands of users, are reducing the reliance on data management staff within the IT organization. When considering all these influences, it is important to note that assessing requirements for data management staffing varies from industry to industry and from organization to organization.

In light of the changing IT environment, the number of IT staff members directly responsible for data management requires ongoing assessment. In the full study, we use four benchmarks to assess data management staffing levels: data management staff as a percentage of the IT staff, data management staff as a percentage of the application group, users per data management staff member, and applications per data management staff member.

In the data management category, we include data analysts, data modelers, data architects, and other IT staff members involved with designing databases, data schemes, and creating and enforcing data standards and policies. We also include other IT staff involved with developing and supporting business intelligence and data warehousing systems, as well as those analyzing information maintained by such systems, in the data management category. However, we place database administrators who implement and maintain the physical database layer in a separate category of database administration.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, Data Management Staffing Ratios. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).

Do you also need staffing ratios for other IT job functions? Consider this collection of all of our staffing ratio reports, which bundles them all into a single report at a significant discount: IT Staffing Ratios–Special Report Bundle.