All You Need To Know About Data Engineers

One of the emerging power players that can help an organization break away from other companies in their industry is the data engineer.  You may have heard the title ‘data engineer’ before, but what does this person actually do?

On a higher level, the data engineer is a designer, builder or manager of information.  As the value of data rises, so does the data engineer’s position on the company’s totem pole offering them increased visibility, and broadening their job description.  Taking this into account, this professional plays a larger role in achieving company goals.  Skilled data engineers are rare, making this a position crucial to the success of a business.

How Can Data Engineers Keep A Company Alive?

Statistics predict that the demand for data engineers in the United States will grow by 15% by the year 2024, far exceeding the demand for other positions.  Of course, this rise in demand will mirror the rise in salary.  Entry-level data engineers, holding only bachelor degrees, can earn approximately $100k per annum with an increase in salaries from this point.  Based on data engineers being a scarce resource, the price tag for services is high.  So, why are these professionals so essential to a business?  Here are some answers.

1: They Are Chief Problem Solvers

The most effective data engineers are those that are persistent, patient, and focused.  He or she understands how and why data funnels operate, and if there is a problem, they know how to resolve the issue.  The most efficient data engineers enjoy constant learning.  It is their curiosity and thirst for knowledge that helps them locate unexpected solutions or come up with alternate ways of fixing the problem.  A data engineer is familiar with various data sets and programming languages; thereby, enabling them to connect with formerly siloed businesses using data-powered systems.

For example, the Pennsylvania-based health system, Geisinger Health System, was one of the forerunners in adopting complete electronic health records; however, it was unable to draw insights from the data collected.  The data was gained from various sources, but it was trapped in the silo units – a challenge faced by many enterprises and health services.  The solution developed by a  data engineering team involved gathering the digital healthcare data from the sources and integrating it into a common space; thereby, making the program unique as a form of analyzing information.  The data is now used as a means of tracking and analyzing patient outcomes, correlating the genomic sequences with clinical care, and visualizing the health data across providers and patients.

2: They Have Knowledge Of All Standards And Practices

When speaking about data in a corporations, we are referring to huge quantities of information, and the data engineer is responsible for management of the data.  A firm grasp on the procedures and standards means that your data is placed in efficient hands.  The data engineer implements required processes according to standards and guidelines, then develops tools and technologies to manage the information.  In turn, the data management system streamlines the procedure for all providers relying on the data to perform their jobs.  Using a strong knowledge of code, algorithms, and understanding how it benefits the company’s infrastructure, data engineers have all these elements at their fingertips.

3: A Foundation In The Cognitive Age

A company should view data engineers as their business foundation as they lay framework for data scientists and analysts.  Without this professional, the others may be left scrambling with various roles that neither is able to perform successfully.  Companies built from the ground up, and with an adequate foundation of data engineers, will reduce any risk to the company’s structure and functioning.

If you want more information on the role of data engineers, this post from Harnham will help.