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The growth of Big Data, the demand for Data Scientists, and the power of Community

These was an interesting article in CIO last week, IT Departments Battle for Data Analytics Talent, which argues (along with a related McKinsey report) that by 2018 the US will be facing a massive shortage of analytics talent:

By 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.

On a more personal note, I attended a holiday party this weekend where a parent was relating to me how their pre-college-age son was being advised to pursue ‘Data Scientist’ as a course of study because it is ‘hot’ (while asking me what exactly a ‘Data Scientist’ does).

But is the solution really just to throw more people at the problem? More importantly, is harnessing and leveraging Big Data really a labor problem, a technology problem, or a community problem?

At HP Vertica, we believe that the Big Data challenge will be met – and while we agree that Data Scientist will indeed be one of the hottest (if not sexiest) jobs of the 21st century, we are also confident that the power of community will allow companies to leverage technology to compensate for the demand for labor. Consequently, we have been making significant investments in the MyVertica community and have big plans in store for 2013.

Our friends at the Community Roundtable have put together a terrific set of materials around what it takes to build an active, engaged community – which aligns very well with our efforts to ‘socialize’ our organization.

Watch for much more in the year ahead, and if you’re not already a member of MyVertica, sign up today!

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