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The life stats have waned... but there is this. . .

My last few weeks with a newborn have been trying to the point that tracking life stats hasn't been too feasible..But, for now, I want to talk about some articles I found while searching around for Data Science news:

First, from the Star Tribune, Minnesota Companies and Workers Cache in on Big Data, a quick word cloud shows words such as: Oracle, information, data, and software; however, it's the words like Hadoop, and Data Science that stand out to me. It's an exciting time for the field of Data Science. 

One encouraging quote from the article really makes me excited about the field:

'I would challenge you to describe to me an organization of any size in any industry or not-for-profit setting that will not be leveraging [Big Data],' said Isaac Cheifetz, a headhunter working to find the Mayo Clinic a head of information management and analytics. 'Name one. I can’t'"

What this tells me is that there is going to be rising demand for people with the skills to analyze large data sets. The article goes on to say, "The McKinsey Institute predicted in 2011 that a big data boom would create up to 190,000 new deep analytics positions in the United States, and demand for 1.5 million data-savvy managers."

One exciting point for me comes when Mr. Belz speaks about a future program at the University of Minnesota: 

"The Carlson School has been offering data science electives at the U for eight years, and now wants to start a master’s program in business analytics and data science. The proposal, OK’d by the Carlson faculty, awaits approval from the Board of Regents."

To throw my own opinion in, I'd say it's a good time to create a business specializing in Big Data... so, if your Dharma is to create a business in the analytics field, maybe big data is where you should look!

The next site I wanted to post about is from Big Data Republic. This article has to do with Twitter's #BigData100. It's an interesting view of the movers and shakers in the Big Data meets Social Networking realm and even a quick read through should be enough to fuel your curiosity for what these pioneers are doing in the field of Data Science. I'm going to be adding a lot of these people to my Twitter feed; however, as one commentator points out, it WILL be interesting to see what happens to these names in the coming year... how will they ebb and flow?

The third site is I'd like to talk about is from The Atlantic: How Kaggle is Changing the Way we Work.

"Founded in 2010, Kaggle is an online platform for data-mining and predictive-modeling competitions. A company arranges with Kaggle to post a dump of data with a proposed problem, and the site's community of computer scientists and mathematicians -- known these days as data scientists -- take on the task, posting proposed solutions."

Kaggle is a venue for Crowd Sourcing real-world Big Data problems. The Coursera course that I'm in, for example, contains an assignment that involves using the tools and tricks that we're learning in the course and attempting to solve a real-world problem. It's possibly the future of how big data is analyzed! An interesting Actuarial problem came with a huge monetary reward: "A $3 million prize, offered by the Heritage Provider Network for the best prediction of which patients will be admitted to a hospital within the next year, based on historical claims data, closed last week, and the winner will be announced in June at the Health Datapalooza." Actuarial science AND Big Data--WOO HOO!!

Other than making me twinge about the fact that I no longer live in D.C. (and thus am not able to go to the Datapalooza), the article identifies an interesting figure that I've been wondering about: 85,000--that's the number of Data Scientists that work on Kaggle! Wow, I'd wondered how many Data Scientists exist but this number is MUCH higher than I would have guessed. That said, it's probably because people are self-identifying as Data Scientists though their job-description would say otherwise... alas, even a fraction of these being actual true-blue Data Scientists suggests to me that this is indeed a growing niche field... a field that I'm slowly integrating into.



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