Everybody loves a data scientist: ever since Google's Hal Varian told the world that
the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians. People think I'm joking, but who would've guessed that computer engineers would've been the sexy job of the 1990s?
That, combined with the McKinsey report into big data last year is a powerful blend. The report reckoned the US alone would need 190,000 deep analytical 'data scientists' - and another 1.5m data-savvy managers to make the big decisions.
This week, in California, over 2,000 people grappled with this issue at the Strata data confe.... Data is big business, with companies like Google, Facebook and LinkedIn - and possibly every other corporate body you've heard of - creating huge profits out of the way they use data. This is the 'big data' everyone's talking about - the 2.5 quintillion bytes of information created every day from our internet searches, purchases, mobile phone calls and social networking. (If you're interested, a quintillion is 1,000 times a quadrillion, which is 1,000 times a trillion, which is 1,000 times a billion).