Jobs available for those who can analyze big data

Now that there is plenty of big data available, companies are looking for employees to analyze the data:

By 2018, the United States might face a shortfall of about 35 percent in the number of people with advanced training in statistics and other disciplines who can help companies realize the potential of digital information generated from their own operations as well as from suppliers and customers, according to McKinsey & Co…

Workers in big data are hard to come by in the short term. A recent survey by CareerBuilder, an affiliate of Tribune Co., which also owns the Chicago Tribune, found that “jobs tied to managing and interpreting big data” were among the “hot areas for hiring” in the second half of 2013…

Dhingra pointed out that the McKinsey report, in addition to citing a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 qualified data scientists in coming years, also said there will be a need for 1.5 million executives and support staff who understand data.

Mu Sigma’s entry-level trainee professionals go through “an intense recruitment program” that includes aptitude tests to determine who has a “quantitative bent of mind”; group discussion, to spot individuals who can present and back their views and listen to feedback; and a “synthesis” test in which a candidate is shown a video and then asked to identify the key message. If they make it through those rounds, they undergo several personal interviews, a process that includes “props and interesting puzzles and case studies.”

Once a decision scientist trainee is recruited, they go through Mu Sigma University, where they learn such skills as the basics of consulting, the “art of problem solving” and the “art of insight generation.” They also take advanced statistics and are taught about machine learning, natural language processing and visualization, along with behavioral sciences and such big data technologies as Hadoop, Mahout and Cassandra.

The numbers don’t just interpret themselves. It is amazing how much data is available these days but people are still needed to figure out what it all means. Being able to do the conceptual and software work that goes into analyzing data can go a long ways these days…

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