Comments
Analytics For All, No Data Scientists Needed
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
D. Henschen
50%
50%
D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
8/25/2014 | 3:01:06 PM
Best practice idea from enterprise applications vendor
The idea this educational came up with seems like a clone of ERP market best practices where by the metrics and financials of customers of SAP, for example, are aggregated and turned into by-industry benchmarks for all SAP customers. Workday and other ERP vendors have also come up with these types of metrics. It's not really a big data thing... and metrics aren't necessarily analytical or predictive in nature. There are probably reported stats that serve as a point of comparison for other reported stats.

Having made these points, it does sound like a big win for the educational company, and happen to agree with the point that you can embrace big-data techniques and high-scale data without hiring a bunch of PhDs.
jries921
100%
0%
jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
8/25/2014 | 3:22:33 PM
Educattion will be key
I see a large port of the role of PhD statiticians as teaching laypeople how to analyze data, and understand what they're looking at (what my boss taught a rookie programmer 20 or so years ago).  Data analysts don't necessarily need math or computer science degrees, though they certainly help; but they do need to have some understanding of what they're doing and why.  Universities *can* do that, but probably won't (or rather, students won't take the classes) unless employers pay them to do so; software developers can make the job easier, but software will happily churn out bad models without some informed human guidance; rather, employers are going to need to take the lead on training people, which is what they should have been doing all along.

 
Alison_Diana
50%
50%
Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
8/26/2014 | 9:28:10 AM
Re: Educattion will be key
In speaking to big data and analytics software developers, the unanimous goal appears to be to deliver analytics capabilities to end users -- while also offering advanced services via data scientists. Just as most people now can create a website, tweak photos, or make a video, we still have specialists whose work is far superior and who we hire for special projects or professional needs. I view big data analytics in a similar way; if I know the questions -- which demographic uses my product; what are the top support questions; who has the highest or lowest sales -- then simple tools are accessible to many non-science employees. However, when you don't know the questions because they incorporate multiple tiers of data, that's time to call in the big guns with their PhDs and years of experience pulling together disparate sources to discern new patterns.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
8/26/2014 | 3:28:16 PM
Re: Educattion will be key
Or better still, hiring better software architects and then making algorithms based on the works of those data scientists to give the end user a more streamlined version of analytics would be a better idea altogether. Data scientists are few and they should be put to better use.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
8/26/2014 | 3:34:12 PM
Re: Educattion will be key
If universities could call companies to make data scientists visible, then that would be great. A lot of talented scientists/engineers find less exposure. They may not be from a fancy university, but their knowledge is what matters the most. Universities have to be more upfront about students working with IT as well. 
Alison_Diana
50%
50%
Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
8/26/2014 | 3:38:21 PM
Re: Educattion will be key
I think we'll get there, in terms of better software algorithms. When you think about it, user-oriented analytics are relatively new so everyone is in learning mode. As the tools get better and developers become more adept at thinking like business users, their applications will be much simpler and intuitive, too. And then, as you say, data scientists will focus on really challenging questions and areas. 
pfretty
50%
50%
pfretty,
User Rank: Ninja
8/28/2014 | 1:40:43 PM
Turning data into insights
I agree the end goal has to be to get the hands into those who need the insights rather then relying on data scientists. After all, there are far too many users needing insights for data scientists to ever keep up with the demand.  However as others have posted education is going to be key to success here.  As a recent IDG SAS poll shows only 11 percent say their organizations are extremely capable of knowing what questions to ask. However, they does not mean they do not have the interest or drive to learn and adapt. We really are just getting started. 

Peter Fretty 
yalanand
50%
50%
yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
8/30/2014 | 2:37:49 PM
A tough choice for companies
Big Data analytics is certainly an integral part of businesses today due to its power to give companies critical insights into what they can do with their data. Proper Big Data analytics presents businesses with important risk mitigation tools, enhance business operations, enrich customer experience, and lift efficiency and ultimately increase profits.

The sheer volume, velocity and variety of Big Data is likely to overwhelm companies if they are to wait for Big Data scientists for them to act on it, and even when they find the experts, they can be too costly. Big Data analytics brings a much welcome alternative to combine, contrast and analyzetrends and other important information about a company's different data sets.
shamika
50%
50%
shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2014 | 7:24:08 AM
Re: Educattion will be key
Interesting article. As per my understanding, data analytics will be mainly used in employments. However this is not fall under any of the main categories in the education systems. Therefore it is important to add this concept in to the current education system.
shamika
50%
50%
shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2014 | 7:35:47 AM
Re: A tough choice for companies
 I agree with you. However it is very difficult to find people with this skill.  Data analysis can be used in any industry to understand where they stand.


Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.