Big Data and Your Career

Key Point: During the last decade it was (and still is) very important for each of us to become fluent with technology. Being able to utilize both hardware, and software became an expected capability in almost any job and the incredible impact of mobility platforms, applications, and social media simply exaggerated our individual need to be tech savvy. We do not have to be Information Technology specialists but we must be excellent and knowledgeable technology users. As a metaphor for the last 10 years, one just has to think about the worldwide result of Steve Jobs’ commitment to put a “ding in the universe.” He and Apple certainly have dinged the world.

And now, I strongly believe you and I have to add a NEW capability to our “personal operating system.” We must all become analytic junkies. Big data, the explosion of data from all this technology, is now a surging reality. Every day organizations and people in various jobs are crunching seemingly endless amounts of data to get an insight into providing greater value and competitive advantage. The story of a retailer auto-generating baby-related adds onto an individual ‘s social media immediately after the second purchase of a pregnancy test from their pharmacy, is not just urban legend. In fact, this example is just table stakes for an effective online marketer. As creepily stalking as this may feel, as the saying goes: Privacy legislation not with standing… “You ain’t seen nothin yet.” Access to huge amounts of data is going well beyond retail and soon dashboards and software tools to transform data into insight will be ubiquitous. Predictive Analytics will become an even more common term. Let’s sharpen our skills so we can proactively participate.

Character Moves:

  1. Get ready by thinking how you might use data to get additional insight to bring more value to the role you’re currently in. Having access to facts and data has always been important, but in short order it will be expected that you and I bring fact driven insights to better connect solutions to problems. This is especially true of needs that are important but still unmet or unanticipated.
  2. Do NOT think Analytics is going to be just the manager’s job or that the “analytics department ” will handle it. Organizations, both profit and non-profit, are investing gazillions of dollars into data rich platforms and they will demand very productive returns. That means expecting YOU to be a critical thinker and able to use software tools to make it so. You and I won’t have to be mathematicians, but we will need to be even greater insight and results providers.
  3. Start to gather examples where people at all levels and jobs are putting big data to work on their mobile devices and providing additional value. And please don’t let this idea intimidate you. We can do it, just as we learned to better apply technology. My 83-year young mom is currently a big iPad user. Who would have bet that happening just a few years ago?
  4. Having a growth mindset means reframing ourselves to be data insight and results achievers so we can provide more value and navigate our careers accordingly.

Analytics in The Triangle,



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