The Nina Hale Analytics Team battled the 5 below temperatures on Monday to attend and present at #BigDataMN, one of Minnesota’s first big data conferences. Alongside 700 attendees we learned about what lies at the intersection of data, programming, analysis, business, and communication. The event was organized by the local analytics professional organization, MinneAnalytics, and was held at the Carlson School.
The day commenced with the Carlson School announcing its newest program from the Social Media and Business Analytics Collaborative (SOBACO), which aims to educate more data and analysis professionals. It is encouraging to see academic institutions acknowledging data as a necessity within business studies. The proliferation of data requires that we build our talent pool, educating more people on how to collect, make use of, and understand our data.
Alongside Chris Malone, Professor of Statistics at Winona State, I co-chaired a room devoted to discussing the question of how we develop, find, hire, and retain talent within the data field. My panel discussion consisted of HR representatives from large Minnesota corporations, a professor from the Carlson School, and a third-party recruiter for SMBs. Our conversation was rich, demonstrating an increased need for academic preparation for the data profession as well as a method to measure the performance of and retain practicing data specialists. We seemed to agree that there is no distinct definition of what data scientist does, which makes the job of recruiters and HR professionals extremely challenging.
#BigDataMN was a fantastic opportunity to observe the interdisciplinary nature of an emerging field. Because of the breadth of applications for data, it was enriching to learn from people across a multitude of professions. Data is forcing a marketing renaissance; time to get ready and ride the wave.