Posts tagged ‘data science’

Big Data and Science: Focus on the Business and Team, Not the Data (Part 3 of 3)

By Mary Ludloff

Let me tell you a little secret: I always know when I am talking (and working) with a company that has successfully launched big data initiatives. There are three characteristics that these companies share:

  1. A C-level executive runs the “[big] data operations.”
  2. The Chief Data Officer (even if they are the CIO) has a heavy business/operations background.
  3. The data team is focused on the “business,” not the data.

Did you notice that technology and data science are not reflected in any of the characteristics? Some of you may consider this sacrilege—after all, we are operating in a world where technology (and I happily work for one of those companies) has changed the data collection, usage, and analysis game. Colleges and universities are now offering master degrees in analytics. The role of the data scientist has been pretty much deified (I refer you to Part 1 of this series). And we all need to be very worried about the “talent shortage” and our ability to recruit the “right analytical team” (I refer you to Part 2 of this series).

Yes—technology has had a tremendous impact on how much data we can collect and the ways in which we can analyze it but not everyone needs to be a senior computer programmer. Yes—we all should strive to be more mathematically inclined but not all of us need Master’s or PhD’s in statistics or analytics. Yes—some companies, based on their business models, may have a staff of data scientists but others may get along just fine without one (with the occasional analytics consultant lending a hand). (more…)

October 20, 2012 at 4:50 am 4 comments

Data Science: What the World Needs is Answers, Not Just Insights Part 2 (of 3)

By Marilyn Craig, Managing Director, Insight Voices

As you may or may not know, we are in the midst of a 3-part series on data science, covering roles, skills, etc.—generally what you should think about as well as what’s not as important (no matter what the latest articles say!). For Part 2, we have a guest poster—Marilyn Craig of Insight Voices. Marilyn is what I like to call a “classic quant.” She has been at the forefront of big data and data science before most people knew these terms (and spaces) existed and has been my go-to person whenever I had an analytics question (see title) that I needed an answer to. In this post, Marilyn looks at insights and makes the case for why we should all care far more about answers. Take it away Marilyn!

Here’s an interesting question for this new world order of Big Data Analytics: what’s an Insight and what’s an Answer? Sometimes they are the same, sometimes not. An insight is a piece of information or understanding. It may or may not be useful. It may or may not help your business improve, solve world hunger, or even make sense. An answer is always useful. It is the result of asking a question. And the best kinds of answers are those that solve the questions that you really care about. (more…)

October 8, 2012 at 10:57 am 5 comments


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