Data specialist recruitment insights from Q2 2019 including contract day rates, the state of the talent pipeline and why data science remains critical in gaming.
In the gaming industry, effective data analytics can be truly make-or-break. Well architected data infrastructures, effective insight analysis and strong BI leadership are critical components of a successful online gaming operation in 2019.
As such, BI and analytics professionals remain high on the ‘hiring priority’ list. Requiring an advanced skillset, often coupled with strong academic background, these can be difficult roles to fill. Plus, with such high stakes, there’s little room for compromise.
Here’s our market update for data and analytics, Q2 2019:
High demand for talented and experienced data professionals shows no sign of abating. Gambling industry experience is highly desirable, but even more junior professionals or graduates can find themselves courted by multiple employers.
Data scientists - those who can develop the all-important algorithms and statistical models which power products - are critical early-stage hires, as are the architects who can design and develop statistical systems. BI analysts provide ongoing value with insight and informed recommendations.
Candidates have a clear control of the market, and are well aware of the value of their technical skillset.
Contract work is now the clear expectation of almost every experienced data professional. Those leaving permanent employment would rarely do so unless moving to contract, where they can expect to earn double the money and enjoy greater flexibility.
Day rates of between £500-700 are typical, but this can vary dependent on exact skillset.
Moreover, many candidates prefer to work as part of an established team, on a project basis. Clients hiring for a single permanent role - a systems engineer, for example - can often expect to receive proposals from a contract team able to complete a set project in its entirety.
Gaming employers are working hard to fill talent pipelines - often facing strong competition from other industries. Lower level analytics roles are in high demand across the industry, suitable for graduates of computer science or a quantitative discipline with high-level data credentials (Python, R, SPSS, SQL, etc.). Knowledge of, or passion for, the gambling industry remains of utmost importance, however.
Combining lower-level in-house resources with experienced contractor talent appears to be an advisable approach for many, although given the pace of the market employers have to be prepared to adapt and prepare to deal with talent churn.
Only the highest packages - £150-200k+ salary at director level - are able to entice data professionals away from the appeal of contract work.
Significantly fewer applications have been received for London-based roles in a timeframe that seems to chime with Brexit uncertainty. Meanwhile, other European locations including Austria, Romania, Bulgaria and Spain have seen a distinct uplift.
This is undoubtedly an exciting time for BI and analytics in gaming. As ever-more advanced systems and automation become the new norm, the data talent market is sure to continue thriving.
Daryl King is a specialist BI and analytics recruitment consultant for Pentasia and can be reached email@example.com or on +44(0) 1737 785 970