How to do data science without a data scientist

datameerWe’ve all heard by now that data scientists are in short supply. According to the TIBCO Spotfire Trends and Outliers Blog, this isn’t a problem that’s going away any time soon:

According to McKinsey Global Institute, the US could be facing a shortage of 190,000 people with analytical skills by 2018. McKinsey isn’t the only organization that’s spotted a potential shortfall of data scientists. In a separate study of 500 data scientists and BI professionals, EMC discovered that 65% of the respondents expect demand for data scientists to outstrip availability over the next five years. Moreover, 83% of respondents believe that new tools and emerging technologies will exacerbate the demand for data scientists.

In McKinsey’s own words, “Analyzing large data sets—so called big data—will become a key basis of competition, underpinning new waves of productivity growth, innovation, and consumer surplus as long as the right policies and enablers are in place.” The marketplace is very good at responding to need, exactly the reason we’re seeing fast growth from software companies like TIBCO Spotfire, Alpine Data Labs and Datameer that put advanced data analytics in the hands of business users.

Awash in data

And it isn’t software companies pushing their products. There’s a genuine pull from businesses that are awash in data and need a way to glean actionable intelligence from the noise. If hiring teams of data scientists isn’t an option, there has to be another way (and, not surprisingly, there is). Gartner’s Dan Sommer gave his opinion about this new breed of business-facing analytics software in Gartner Says Business Analytics Will Be Central for Business Reinvention: 

One segment that is really pushing usability to new levels is what we call interactive visualization or data discovery. These are tools with appealing user interfaces, where you can mash data up, often into memory.

If you’ve never witnessed what these tools can do, and in the hands of business users, you need to take a look. Their ability to slice and dice some of the most complex datasets is remarkable.

Come to Interop

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 3.06.16 PMNext week at Interop in New York, you’ll get to hear from the people on the front edge of delivering business-friendly analytics. One of the speakers, Matt Schumpert from Datameer, had a great presentation in Las Vegas in May and will be back to talk further on the topic of getting analytics out of IT and into operations. I caught up with Matt earlier today about his presentation, and he said:

I’m looking forward to Interop’s Big Data Workshop next week. In Las Vegas, the topic was the myths and realities of Big Data and that generated great discussions around the hype that comes with big data. This time around, the topic is the Big Data ecosystem, and I’m looking forward to talking about how to do data science without a data scientist. It is important to empower business users with these capabilities since they are the ones that know their business and their data best.

Come see Matt Schumpert at Interop in New York City next week and hear his and others’ thoughts on the ecosystem of Big Data. There’s a great lineup of speakers for the Big Data Workshop, including individual presentations and panel discussions. We hope to see you there.

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Categories: Data Analytics / Big Data

Author:Chris Taylor

Reimagining the way work is done through big data, analytics, and event processing. There's no end to what we can change and improve. I wear myself out...

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