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By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 08-30-2012

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Top Cities for Big Data Talent: 1. San FranciscoThere are lots of e-commerce, retail, insurance and healthcare organizations here which depend upon large-scale customer analytics.

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Top Cities for Big Data Talent: 2. McLean, Va.In greater Washington, D.C., McLean boosts a big-time government presence along with thriving IT and commercial industries. Tons of data centers here too.

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Top Cities for Big Data Talent: 3. BostonBanking and biotech/pharmaceuticals are on the rise in Beantown, and these companies own high-volume data that must be constantly analyzed, sliced and diced.

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Top Cities for Big Data Talent: 4. St. LouisThat's right. There are a high number of healthcare, university and bioresearch organizations here that depend greatly upon Big Data talent.

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Top Cities for Big Data Talent5. TorontoToronto is home to a great deal of financial institutions that are always seeking better business intelligence to avoid risk.

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Best Big Data Skills 1. Data AnalysisYou need a crackerjack at running queries and developing application modeling, as well as understanding structured and unstructured data.

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Best Big Data Skills 2. Business Growth SavvyMBA-level recruits who double up as data scientists contribute greatly to strategic decision-making.

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Best Big Data Skills 3. Change ManagementNew business models are constantly required. IT-seasoned pros are needed to discern/scope change, quantify it and otherwise help organizations manage it.

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Best Big Data Skills 4. Web/Mobile DesignRepresenting results of Big Data analysis with sharp capture and display tools will help those in the C-Suite understand how Big Data contributes to the Big Picture.