Data Engineers: The Foundation of Your Data Team

Author: Maria Scalici
Posting date: 8/22/2018 9:05 AM
Road crews lay the foundational infrastructure of our roads. Foundation plants are the basis on which a local habitat can thrive. But, when it comes to the infrastructure of our data, it’s the Data Engineers who lay the foundation. 

As one of the hottest emerging jobs on LinkedIn and around the globe, businesses are now waking to the idea that Data Engineers are key to their teams. Data is now one of a company's most valuable assets, next to people and infrastructure, and Data Engineers are key players who can help your business break away from the competition.

Why Data Engineers Are Essential for Your Team


Data Engineers are the designers, builders and managers of information. As the value of data has risen, so has their importance, with increased visibility and broader a broader set of skills now sought by employers. The balance between highly technical and soft skills makes finding skilled Data Engineers difficult but critical for businesses. 

At the top most level, Data Engineers act as your ‘Chief Problem Solver’. Their understanding of data pipelines’ infrastructure, coupled with familiarity of data sets and programming languages, helps them creatively solve problems. 

Armed with a firm grasp and understanding of procedures, standards, algorithms, code, and how they all work together, Data Engineers have a full comprehension of the latest business currency: information.

But, to solve problems and run efficient processes, first Data Engineers must build an infrastructure. Here are just a few examples of the myriad of services they can offer:

  • Experimentation: A/B testing and experimentation frameworks are often critical to a company’s analytics and involve a significant Data Engineering component.
  • Sessionization: Pipelines specialized to understand a series of actions in time, allowing analysts to understand user behaviors.
  • Instrumentation: Analytics starts with logging events and attributes related to those events. Data Engineers have vested interests in making sure high quality data is captured upstream.
  • Metric Computation: Frameworks to compute and summarize engagement, growth or segmentation related metrics.

Route to the Role of Data Engineer


As important as education is on the route to the role of engineer, there are some essential skills you can’t learn in school, such as communication. 

It may come as no surprise that technology-centric roles dominate LinkedIn’s top 20 emerging jobs. New Machine Learning and Data Science roles and skills indicate a shift in the types of technology we can expect to be using in the near future, as well as suggesting what professionals should be preparing themselves for. 

Data Engineers have grown in visibility and influence as enterprises realize that the future of computing lies with how their underlying data and infrastructure are handled.

Like many Digital Analytics roles, demand is high for Data Engineers. Nearly half of all executives surveyed in the U.S. and Europe estimate analytics and Big Data skills will soon be the most important digital capabilities at their companies. Some of the biggest names in business are ramping up their digital recruitment efforts estimating an additional 15 percent growth rate by 2024.

If you’re looking for a cutting-edge career in Big Data and analytics, our specialist Data Engineering consultants may have a role for you. 

Check out our current vacancies or contact us to learn more. For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614-4999 or email sanfraninfo@harnham.com For our Mid-West and East Coast teams call (212) 796 6070 or email newyorkinfo@harnham.com.

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