The demand for PLM data engineer

The demand for PLM data engineer

One of the things that caught my attention last week at Autodesk University 2017, was Andrew Anagnost, Autodesk CEO keynote and the notion of scarce skills. Navigate here to read more.  One of my conclusions from that presentation was about data skills.

New technologies are creating new opportunities and demand for new skills. We live in data-driven world. Look around us and you will see how the most successful companies are using data to improve everything we do. It started in digital world with Google collecting online information and continued with the rest of the world around us which is becoming digital much faster than we think. Manufacturing and construction companies will become data driven sooner then later. And tools that can create this intelligence by aggregating and processing information will have high demand in the future. Data skills will be in high demand in the future.

Over the weekend I read 10 Predictions For AI, Big Data, And Analytics in 2018 Forbes article. It speaks about the fact AI, Big Data, Analytics and other data related technologies are moving from experiments to execution stage. Forbes article reference Forrester research and says that AI honeymoon is over:

A new Forrester Research report, Predictions 2018: The Honeymoon For AI Is Over, predicts that in 2018 enterprises will finally move beyond the hype to recognize that AI requires hard work—planning, deploying, and governing it correctly. Forrester also promises improvements: Better human and machine collaboration due to improved interfaces; enhancing business intelligence and analytics solutions by moving resources to the cloud; new AI capabilities facilitating the redesign of analytics and data management roles and activities and driving the emergence of the insights-as-a-service market. 

However, my favorite passage is about high demand of data engineers.

Data engineer will become the hot new job title. 13% of data-related job postings on are for data engineers, versus less than 1% for data scientists, reflecting the trend of big data initiatives becoming mission-critical and the need to provide broader support to the business analyst.

These great news and big challenges for PLM industry. Enterprises will be moving to actual implementation of many data related initiatives. The projects will move forward and demand for people who is actually capable to understand the complexity of product lifecycle information will be growing. The systems managing product data, design, bill of materials for engineering, manufacturing, service and other related data will be in high demand because companies will need them to dig into complex islands of product lifecycle and related data.

What is my conclusion? AI, machine learning, analytics and other data related projects are as good as the data you put into these systems. Remember “garbage in / garbage out” slogan? This is a reality of data projects. We are going to see a huge demand for PLM people capable to identify right data, collect it together and build decision / analytic support using modern cloud-based tools. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.

Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.


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  • Robert Ferrone

    Couldn’t agree more Oleg!! Since 2000 we’ve been building a whole company/profession around that need 🙂

  • beyondplm

    Robert, thanks for sharing!

  • Jonathan_Scott

    Oleg, I believe PLM vendors are about to see a wave of adoption of their tools as engineering and manufacturing executives latch on to the digitalization trend and push their organizations to get their “product data” houses in order. I think a number of companies will find themselves on the wrong side of the “garbage in, garbage out” axiom, and will need to work quickly to right their ships. That work to re-establish a solid data foundation, and the follow-on work to leverage that data in new ways, will take a good understanding of the nature of the data itself. This is where I agree with your point about the coming high demand for PLM data engineering talent. Thank you for sharing these thoughts.

  • Lee Perrin

    There is going to be a whole new language to learn – Data Governance, Master Data management, etc. that will bring new thinking to the PLM world. Exciting times especially for those who wish to learn new skills.

  • beyondplm

    Jonathan, thanks for your comment! Indeed, companies will have to catch up on data tech… and so demand will grow.

  • beyondplm

    Agreed 100%

  • Lee Perrin

    How do you see the “Internet of Things” trend as it applies to PLM and Blockchain?

  • beyondplm

    IoT is a very broad trend. So, it will affect everything PLM is doing such as product with new capabilities, extended lifecycle tracking, etc.