FOR THE FOURTH YEAR RUNNING, we at O’Reilly Media have collected survey data from data scientists, engineers, and others in the data space, about their skills, tools, and salary. Across our four years of data, many key trends are more or less constant: median salaries, top tools, and correlations among tool usage. For this year’s analysis, we collected responses from September 2015 to June 2016, from 983 data professionals.
In this report, we provide some different approaches to the analysis, in particular conducting clustering on the respondents (not just tools). We have also adjusted the linear model for improved accuracy, using a square root transform and publicly available data on geographical variation in economies. The survey itself also included new questions, most notably about specific data-related tasks and any change in salary.
The median base salary of the entire sample was $87K. This figure is slightly lower than in previous years (last year it was $91K), but this discrepancy is fully attributable to shifts in demographics: this year’s sample had a higher share of non-US respondents and respondents aged 30 or younger. Three-fifths of the sample came from the US, and these respondents had a median salary of $106K.
For a number of survey questions, we show graphs of answer shares and the median salaries of respondents who gave particular answers. While median salary is probably the best number ...