Data Warehouse Staff Holds Its Own

November, 2011

Data warehousing, once a neat, clearly defined business unit of the company, has rapidly evolved into a growing, mission-critical operation that crosses departmental borders and raises significant IT issues for many businesses.

Over the last three years, however, the size of IT staff that manage and maintain data warehouse and business intelligence systems has remained relatively steady, according to our study, Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence Staffing Ratios. Figure 1 shows data warehouse and business intelligence personnel accounted for an average 3.2% of the IT staff in 2009, fell to 2.8% in 2010, and then recovered to 3.0% in 2011.

Datawarehouse Staff Fig1 - Data Warehouse Staff Holds Its Own

The fluctuation over the past three years is relatively small in light of the staff reductions and recovery during the period. Business intelligence, overall, continued to be an area of investment for many organizations despite the reduction in capital spending in general.

Data warehouses are growing in size, scope, and complexity as they serve increasing numbers of demanding users. At the same time, new government regulations and mandates, such as those for e-discovery, place pressure on organizations to expand data warehouse operations.

For businesses today, properly scaling business intelligence applications while controlling support costs is a challenge. The full study provides benchmarks for staffing the data warehouse (DW) and business intelligence (BI) functions. We provide the ratio of DW/BI staff to total IT staff for the composite sample and by organization size and sector. We also present two other metrics for benchmarking this function: applications per DW/BI staff member and terabytes of storage per DW/BI staff member.

For the sake of brevity, we refer to the IT staff members under study in this report simply as the “DW/BI staff.” In our study, DW/BI staff specifically includes data warehouse, data architects, data analysts, and business intelligence personnel, regardless of their titles. For example, IT staff members with titles of programmer/analyst, business analyst, and user liaison would be considered DW staff if their primary job responsibilities involved designing logical database schema, working with data warehouse or business intelligence applications, responding to user requests for data analysis, or analyzing the data residing in the organization’s databases. 

Database administrators (DBAs)—IT staff members who implement and maintain the physical database layer—however, are not included in our definition of DW staff, but are covered in a separate study, Database Administration Staffing Ratios.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence 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.