I‘ve spent most of my career working with new technology, most recently helping companies make sense of mountains of incoming data. This means, as I like to tell people, that I have the sexiest job in the 21st century. That’s not me talking. SmartData Collective, an online community moderated by Social Media Today, has called big data scientist “the sexiest job of the 21st century.” Who am I to disagree?
Besides making folks like me feel good, that designation might offer another benefit. It’ll help draw new talent into our field. This is currently a big problem, and it’s getting bigger every day.
The role of data scientist has changed dramatically. Data used to reside on the fringes of the operation. It was usually important but seldom vital — a dreary task reserved for the geekiest of the geeks. It supported every function but never seemed to lead them. Even the executives who respected it never quite absorbed it.