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Dice Report January 2013 Though hiring managers are particularly interested in tech professionals with Java/J2EE development skills, the demand for data expertise has increased notably in the past year, according to a report released Thursday by Dice. Last year, the need for data analysts and analytics skills didn't even make the top 10. But in the latest survey, they were in the No. 4 spot. It makes sense, considering that more businesses are using Big Data as a strategic tool. For example, game companies are harnessing analytics to understand users' behaviors and play trends, utilities are expected to spend $20 billion a year on analytics by 2020, and researchers of all types, from marketing specialists to economists and urban planners, want to more deeply analyze data generated by smartphone users. (On Dice, the number of Big Data job postings tripled year on year.) Back to Java: This is the second consecutive year that Java and J2EE developers are in the most demand. The closer to the application they are, the stronger the job market. In fact, one in five job postings on Dice included the word "Java," or showed a need for some form of Java knowledge.