Finding Bright Young Things

Posted under: From the Blog 30th of January, 2013

So if you are looking for “bright young things” to help mine and exploit Big Data- who are they? How do you find them?

Computerworld article provides a few interesting tips on how you can spot  “big data talent”

The most important qualifications … are not academic degrees, certifications, job experience or titles. Rather, they seem to be the soft skills: a curious mind, the ability to communicate with non-technical people, a persistent — even stubborn — character and a strong creative bent.

A common trait discussed appears to be “intense curiosity”.

Others suggested “We are finding there are a lot more who are flexible in learning new skills, willing to do iterative design and agile thinking,”

In summary,  finding “big data talent” are like looking for “Renaissance men” — intensely curious and creative people who are interested in many different disciplines, including the arts and humanities, with the following characteristics:

  • Intellectual curiosity
  • A comfort level with non-technical people and the ability to explain big-data concepts and analysis in terms that business people understand
  • An ability to understand how to analyze data in ways that support the business and further business goals
  • Dogged persistence despite repeated failure, because big-data is an area in which you have to try lots of things that don’t work, in order to find those that do
  • An open, flexible mind that can switch perspectives and assumptions
  • A strong creative bent
To take advantage of this opportunity, both CIOs and IT professionals need to broaden their thinking when it comes to IT hiring. CIOs shouldn’t focus narrowly on searching only for technical qualifications. Instead, they should keep an ear to the ground — perhaps through their professional networks — for these Renaissance types. And they should review the staff they already have, looking for those closet right-brainers with an interest in and aptitude for big-data.

Anyone you know fit the bill?

Could it be you? For an IT Professional, it’s an opportunity to increase your level of job satisfaction and potential for advancement. “One analyst told me that US$300,000 to US$500,000 wasn’t out of line for a top data scientist.

Why is Big Data a big deal?

“Big Data” refers to the collection and storage of mass quantities of data that can then be sliced, diced and mashed up to find patterns and trends related to everything from business to health care – from the explosion of data available in the myriad of social media sources. For the volume of data source possibilities, it’s like trying to “drink water from a fire hose” – can be incredibly overwhelming trying to deal with exabytes of data – worth considering identifying “bright young things” right under your nose. Cheers.

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