Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 11.35.25 AM It’s a new year, which means new opportunities for learning new skills. But no skill exists in a vacuum: once you plunge down the rabbit-hole of a particular subject (i.e., data analytics), you quickly find yourself confronted by the need to know a rapidly escalating number of interrelated skills and platforms. For example, you can’t simply learn Apache Hadoop; you must know the software that operates in conjunction with it (Apache Pig, Hive, HBase, and more), the peculiarities of HDFS and MapReduce (Hadoop’s storage and processing components, respectively), and Java (the programming language underlying the framework). With that in mind, it’s worth revisiting an experimental visualization that Dice launched a few months ago, allowing users to explore the relationships between skills. Every circle (or node) of the visualization represents a skill; hover over a node to reveal the skill and its associations. You’ll note that different “communities” (designated by color) coalesce around these skills. “For those interested in how we built this visualization, it involved multiple steps,” Yuri Bykov, Dice’s director of data science, wrote in a blog posting that accompanied the visualization’s original launch. “We started with Gephi, an open-source network analysis and visualization software package, by importing a pair-wise comma-separated list of skills and their similarity scores… and running a number of analyses: Force Atlas layout to draw a force-directed graph, Avg. Path Length to calculate the Betweenness Centrality that determines the size of a node, and finally Modularity to detect communities of skills (again, color-coded in the visualization).”

Dice Skills Center

For those who want to learn more about individual skills, check out Dice’s Skills Center, which offers at-a-glance access to information on hundreds of skills. Each skills page also features a visualization of that skill’s popularity over time, as well as trending jobs that rely on that skill, and Dice Insights articles that delve into the skill’s details.