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Data management personnel as a percentage of the IT staff has been rising, but only slightly, over the past five years as organizations continue to expand their business intelligence capabilities and tighten security.
Figure 1 from our study, Data Management Staffing Ratios, shows that data analysts, data modelers, data architects, and other IT staff members involved with designing databases, data schemes, and creating and enforcing data standards currently account for 4.2% of the IT staff at the median. That is about the same as the previous year, but a step up from the 3.8% level in 2011.
Data management is a mission-critical function that crosses departmental borders and involves business intelligence, data warehousing, and data architecture, among other functions. While showing only slight growth over the period, the trend nevertheless conforms to the prediction that data management staff should rise with growth in big data applications and tighter requirements around data security.
The composite staffing ratio is useful for assessing trends, but not for benchmarking. For benchmarking purposes, we advise using benchmarks by organization size. 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. We also assess the influence of sector on these benchmarks.
We use percentiles rather than averages for benchmarks. The median, or 50th percentile, represents that point at which about half of the organizations have higher staffing ratios and about half have lower ratios. For benchmarking purposes, we exclude organizations from the sample if they do not staff the function and include outsourced positions in the headcount.