Data Management Staffing Leaps Forward

January, 2015

Data management is a mission-critical function that crosses departmental borders and involves business intelligence, data warehousing, and data architecture, among other functions. To no surprise, this category of IT employees has been rising steadily in the big-data era, and staffing levels require ongoing assessment.

Figure 1 from our study, Data Management Staffing Ratios, shows that data management personnel currently account for 4.3% of the IT staff at the median, up from a median of 3.3% in 2010. As a percentage of the IT staff, data management personnel have been rising over at least the past five years.

1 Data mgmt Fig 1 - Data Management Staffing Leaps Forward

The rise has not been in a straight line. Over the three years from 2011 to 2013, the category remained somewhat static at a median ratio ranging from 3.7% to 3.9%. Nevertheless, the longer-term trend conforms to the prediction that data management staff headcount should rise with the growth in big data applications.

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.

For benchmarking purposes, we exclude organizations from the sample entirely if they do not staff the function. We also adjust responses to include outsourced positions in the headcount. These adjustments help ensure benchmarks are comparable with IT organizations that do staff the function. We also provide benchmarks for the 25th percentile and 75th percentile, which mark the upper and lower range of what might be considered typical. About half of all organizations will fall within this range.

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.