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How to close the big data skills gap by training your IT staff

Thor Olavsrud | Oct. 3, 2013
Research firms paint a dire picture of a massive big data skills gap that will get worse over time. But companies like Persado, which uses big data to help marketers optimize their messages, are finding success training their existing staff in the new big data technologies.

"Having the training in-house was really important," adds Huang. "It got our team interacting with the technology and understanding what you could possibly do with it. We have the data, but the team has been dealing with data on an ad-hoc basis, chunk by chunk. Doing the training really helped us to know how these tools really can help us. Over the long run, what was most beneficial for the team was to talk to someone who actually has real experience working with this big data technology. That really opened up the mindset of the developers here, especially the local developers that we have in Athens."

Hadoop Is a Game-Changing Technology
After the training, Huang says Persado has successfully built up its new data warehouse capabilities using Hadoop, Hive and Pig.

"What we find is that Hadoop is kind of a game-changing new technology," says Sproehnle. "It's not that people can't learn it, but they need to invest in that training. They really need to learn this brand new technology. We find that if people fumble around on their own, it's really hard to get Hadoop into production. But if you invest in a week of training you can begin maximizing that investment really quickly."


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