How To Use Salary Studies In AI & Data Science?

The AIMResearch/AnalytixLabs report gives an overall picture of the entire analytics industry.

AIM Research recently launched the AI & Data Science Salary Study 2021 in collaboration with AnalytixLabs. This annual study by Analytics India Magazine (AIM) investigates salary trends in the AI & Data Science market. The data for the report was collated from various sources like LinkedIn, online job portals, and group discussions with major analytics firms. 

Apart from AIM, various research organisations and recruitment agencies come up with similar reports. Below, we analyse the content of reports, and how to leverage them.

Different Salary Studies

Ed-tech firm UpGrad has come up with a report for 2021 on the average salaries of data scientists, data analysts, and data engineers in India. The report categorised salaries by location, years of experience, skills, and company. Another ed-tech firm, Simplilearn, has a similar report for 2021 for data scientists alone. Both UpGrad and Simplilearn used PayScale as their data source. PayScale provides salary market data and insights across parameters like company, job title, degree, certification, skill, etc. Job seekers can enter their salary and related details for comparative analysis. Glassdoor, another online portal, provides aggregated salary details for a particular role.

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Michael Page, a recruitment agency, publishes an annual salary report. For 2021, the report included insights and market sentiment for the Asia-Pacific region based on a survey of 21,000 employees – more than a quarter of responses were from business leaders. The report provides a broader view of the overall salaries and hiring trends in Asia-Pacific.

The study published by AIM Research and AnalytixLabs calculated the median salary of analytics professionals. The report gives a comprehensive overview of analytics professionals’ salary trends for the past few years across cities, industries, company types, years of experience, educational qualification, gender gap, and tools. The report detailed salary trends for different data science roles in the analytics domain. 

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Comparing The Numbers

According to the AIM Research/AnalytixLabs study, the median salary of analytics professionals in India in 2021 stood at INR 13.4 lakhs. The median salary for data scientists and data engineers stood at INR 13.6 and 14.9 Lakhs per annum, respectively. The UpGrad report — published in January 2021 — found the average salary for data scientists and data engineers was INR 6.9 and 8.4 Lakhs per annum, respectively. Similarly, the median salary for an MIS Reporting Specialist in the AIM Research/AnalytixLabs study and the Data Analyst in the UpGrad report had comparatively lower salaries than Data Scientists and Data Engineers at INR 8.7 and 4.2 lakh per annum, respectively. 

The median salary in the AIM Research/AnalytixLabs study for 3-6 years and 6-10 years of experience for all analytics professionals is 8.4 and 13.1 Lakhs per annum. The Michael Page report does not give an aggregated figure for all analytics professionals. However, it provides the average salaries for different professions within the analytics domain viz. marketing analytics, risk analytics, digital analytics, etc. The salary numbers were the lowest for professionals working in digital analytics at INR 22 and 35 lakhs per annum for 3-6 years and 6-10 years of experience, respectively. Hence, the salaries of analytics professionals with even the lowest average in the Michael Page report had more than double the median salary reported in the AIM Research/AnalytixLabs study. 

The UpGrad study reported the average salaries for 1-4 and 5-9 years of experience for Data Scientists and Data Engineers within the range of INR 6 to 10 lakhs per annum, closer to the AIM Research/AnalytixLabs study.

Using Salary Study Reports

The Michael Page report touched upon recruitment and talent-related concerns, including digital readiness, organisational design, flexible work, leadership, performance management, and diversity and inclusion.

The report helps understand the overall salary and hiring trends for 2021 in the Asia-pacific market. It provides many qualitative insights into different topics related to salaries or hiring across professions. 

The UpGrad or Simplilearn reports offer comprehensive details about salary figures for individual roles viz. data scientists, data engineers, and data analysts. The AIMResearch/AnalytixLabs report gives an overall picture of the entire analytics industry. 

Analytics professionals seeking job change can use it as a bargaining chip to ensure fair compensation. The AIM Report’s detailed salary taxonomy based on skillset, company types, educational qualifications, years of experience, etc will help understand the latest trends. Professionals can leverage the insights from the studies to address the skill gaps, make a case for appraisal or switch careers.

From an enterprise perspective, recruiters or hiring professionals can use the report to set benchmarks when negotiating salaries with analytics professionals. Recruiters will need to factor in the applicant’s qualification, years of experience, data science role, etc while hiring, and the reports serve as a good yardstick.

Decision-makers in the firm can use the report to analyse trends in the industry and formulate strategies. For example, organisations could arrange upskilling bootcamps to improve productivity. Managers could fashion a workflow based on the trends, and customise their payrolls in line with industry.

Business leaders could take the cue and work to bring positive changes in the industry, like closing the gender pay gap or mitigate bias towards certain institutions/community and promote equal opportunity to everyone.

Enterprises can reach out to Analytics India Magazine for their benchmarking needs at

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by Vijayalakshmi Anandan

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