Data-driven initiatives that involve data mining helps identify unexpected trends in large data sets. It is also often used in very unexpected ways. WIADOPT, in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, uses this approach to ascertain the best adoption situation or other types of long-term resources for children that are wards of the state. The data mining tools that these organizations use ultimately look to find patterns that help identify an appropriate family for the child. This is just one example of how data science is used in Wisconsin’s public sector. Whether in healthcare, finance, climatology, or in public services as in the example above, data scientists in Wisconsin are well compensated for their unique expertise.
Data Science Starting Salary Ranges in Wisconsin’s Biggest Cities
Wisconsin has some heavy hitters in the high tech scene. Madison ranked among the top 25 metropolitan areas in the country for its level of high tech employment in 2011 according to the Bay Area Council Economic Institute’s Technology Works report commissioned by Energy Advocacy.
Fast Company featured Madison in an article on why tech startups are mad for the city. Madison has a storied history of successful startups included the shopping site Jellyfish.com which Microsoft bought for $50 million in 2007. Recent successes include Sonic Foundry and Raven Software which helped create Call of Duty. According to Capital Entrepreneurs, tech startups in Madison raised $44 million in funding in 2013 with Networked Insights raising the most money.
Milwaukee also garnered press for its high tech scene in recent years. Techie.com named it as one of 2013’s ten most unexpected cities for high tech innovation. The Milwaukee Business Journal pointed out how the city hosts one third of Wisconsin’s tech industry. Notable local tech companies include Quad/Graphics Inc. and Wisconsin Energy Corporation.
Thus, data scientists in both Madison and the Milwaukee area earned higher starting salaries than their colleagues in other major cities in Wisconsin as of 2016 according to Robert Half Technology. This staffing firm places thousands of tech job seekers across the US each year and has amassed a wealth of information on the starting salary ranges of data scientists. These salary figures do not account for bonuses or relocation assistance.
In 2011, more than two-thirds of the firms surveyed by Atlas Van Lines for its 45th Annual Corporate Relocation Survey provided full relocation compensation for employees (including new hires).
Robert Half draws from US Bureau of Labor Statistics research to account for geographical variation in Wisconsin and provides accurate and up-to-date salary expectations for data scientists in the state:
- Milwaukee: $110,000 – $155,000
- Waukesha: $108,000 – $152,000
- West Allis: $104,000 – $147,000
- Racine: $97,000 – $136,000
- Madison: $107,000 – $151,000
- Janesville: $94,000 – $133,000
- Beloit: $94,000 – $133,000
- Fond du Lac: $85,000 – $120,000
Green Bay Area
- Green Bay: $94,000 – $133,000
- Neenah: $101,000 – $143,000
- Oshkosh: $101,000 – $143,000
- Appleton: $93,000 – $131,000
Salaries for Wisconsin’s Data Scientists in a Variety of Roles and Industries
The range of salaries for several key data science roles and industries in which the commonly work in Wisconsin are shown here (US Department of Labor; Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, 2014):
US Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Computer and Information Research Science
- 90th Percentile – $115,760
- Median – $74,380
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development:
- 90th Percentile – $85,827
- Median – $73,080
- 90th Percentile – $78,950
- Median – $66,662
Salaries for Data Scientists Working in Operations Research in Wisconsin’s Major Cities
The median salary among data scientists working in operations research in the Appleton area was higher than in any of Wisconsin’s other major cities as of 2014 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. A full analysis is shown here:
- Appleton – 113,520
- Green Bay – $90,330
- Madison – $94,670
- Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis – $101,280
- Oshkosh-Neenah – $91,500
- Wausau – $110,320
Salaries for Statistical Modeling Specialists in Milwaukee and Madison
The median salary among data scientists working as statistical modeling specialists in Madison was more than 10% higher than the statewide median for these specialists as of 2014 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. A full analysis is shown here:
- Madison – $116,080
- Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis – $99,120
Salaries for Data Scientists Working in the Area of Computer and Information Research Science in Madison
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary among data scientists working in computer and information research science in Madison was higher than the statewide median for these professionals as of 2014. A full analysis is shown here:
- Madison – $115,980
The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics information shown here reflects salary data for broad occupational classifications that include data scientists. These estimates are expressed as the 90th percentile average to reflect the fact that data scientists are recognized as the top earners within each classification.