Data Science Salaries in 2013

“Whether you call it Big Data, data science, or simply analytics, modern businesses see data as a gold mine.” This was in evidence in this salary survey results.

From O’Reilly Data Science Survey ( a free ebook on registration):

By a significant margin, more respondents used SQL than any other tool (71% of respondents, compared to 43% for the next highest ranked tool, R).

The open source tools R and Python, used by 43% and 40% of respondents, respectively, proved more widely used than Excel (used by 36% of respondents).

Salaries positively correlated with the number of tools used by respondents. The average respondent selected 10 tools and had a median income of $100k; those using 15 or more tools had a median salary of $130k.

Two clusters of correlating tool use: one consisting of open source tools (R, Python, Hadoop frameworks, and several scalable machine learning tools), the other consisting of commercial tools such as Excel, MSSQL, Tableau, Oracle RDB, and BusinessObjects.

Respondents who use more tools from the commercial cluster tend to use them in isolation, without many other tools.

Respondents selecting tools from the open source cluster had higher salaries than respondents selecting commercial tools. For example, respondents who selected 6 of the 19 open source tools had a median salary of $130k, while those using 5 of the 13 commercial cluster tools earned a median salary of $90k