The Big Data age is here. Whether it’s scrolling through Twitter, or checking the market analysis on a recent product, kids and professionals alike are utilizing and creating data simultaneously in their daily lives. The knowledge and expertise you will learn from getting your Online Master of Information Degree from the Rutgers Graduate School of Education will help you succeed in the Big Data age.
Just How Big is Big Data?
In 2013, it was estimated that there were approximately 4 zettabytes of data worldwide. If this number is not striking enough, consider this: in 2012, it was estimated that we had created approximately 2.8 zettabytes of data. This means that our creation of data is almost doubling every year.
Furthermore, by 2020, researchers predict that we will surpass over 40 zettabytes of data.
Due to data’s ubiquitous nature, companies and organizations are scrounging for data scientists that can shift through data and quickly recognize trends. For example, a 2013 McKinsey trend report projected that there could be a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 data scientists. The report also estimated that there would be a shortage of approximately 1.5 million managers who could capably utilize data-focused reports.
This forecast of aggressive influence and expansion caught the attention of President Obama, and in response, the President chose to embrace the use of data by creating a new office – the Office of Data Science
Following the Likes of Google & Apple
President Obama has launched numerous data-focused initiatives in the past, yet the administration had never considered the data industry to be a major player. That attitude has now changed upon observing the data industry’s booming impact in every cultural sector.
By creating a new office for data science, the government has officially followed the lead of top innovative companies (e.g., Google & Apple), who deem it impossible to maximize their effectiveness as companies without the help of top talented data scientists.
The Role of Data Scientists
The tasks of data scientists may differ slightly depending on the needs of their respective company or organization, but generally speaking, data scientists will aid in the acquisition, processing and leveraging of data in order to create potential opportunities for their respective organization.
Similarly, the Office of Data Science will analyze data in order to best assist the government and the citizens of the United States.
A Message From the 1st Chief Data Scientist in U.S. History
Upon being publicly introduced as the chief of the new Office of Data Science, DJ Patil released an online letter providing information on what his position will entail.
Patil, who previously worked as a data scientist for companies like LinkedIn and Ebay, stated that he is focused on four major activities:
- “Offering vision on how to provide maximum social return on federal data”
- “Creating nationwide data policies that enable shared services and forward leaning practices to advance our nation’s leadership in the data age”
- “Working with agencies to establish best practices for data management and ensure long-term sustainability of databases”
- “Recruiting and retaining the best minds in data science for public service to address these data science objectives and act as conduits among the government, academia and industry.”- Dr. DJ Patil
Patil also noted niches that he felt were priority areas, which included precision medicine, useable data products and responsible data science.
The message ended with Patil affirming his belief that data will completely revolutionize the way that we live and work, both on a short and long term scale.
What’s Happening With All This Data?
One of the most exciting things about data is its versatility – data can literally be created, obtained and analyzed on virtually any level of any industry. The true key, then, is to know what kind of data you are intending to create and how it can be utilized for your benefit.
For example, with the release of its new music platform – Apple Radio – Apple’s data scientists might be interested in discovering the when/where/why/how’s of its user’s listening habits in order to make the necessary adjustments to fit their wants and needs.
Another example would be if data scientists at Google were seeking to create an article on 2015’s most popular search terms. To do so, they would analyze and obtain massive amounts of their search engine’s data, and then use that to create a list informing the public on the current cultural zeitgeist.
But it isn’t only companies that can use Big Data to their advantage – take, for example, The Occupy Wall Street Movement. This movement was completely inspired by data, as working class citizens rallied behind a data report stating that most of the country’s wealth was concentrated towards the top 1% of the population.
Although the movement eventually diminished, it does serve as an excellent example of the potential inspirational power of data. And as the industry continues to boom, look for data to be the major catalyst behind our future cultural shifts.