Welcome to the Age of Big Data
It is really impressive to reflect the profound changes that the digital era and the power of the internet have brought to the modern world. In this article, I will describe a crucial trend in these transformations: the massive data revolution, the so-called Big Data. I will explain the meaning of this concept, its logic and why the data analytics provides a really interesting path to a professional career for young –and not that young- students.
What is Big Data?
Any usual newspaper reader or actual magazines reader would have faced many times with this word. Although the word seems too impressive, there is nothing to have fear about. I think that we can generate intuition into the concept by making reference to various frequent questions that many people have had recently:
How does Netflix get to guess rightly with its series, films and documentary recommendations?
How does Facebook get to make interesting recommendations about products, pages or other interests?
In both cases, the answer has something to do with the use of massive amounts of data. Now it is when Big Data comes to the scene. In a few words, the use of statistics to make careful conclusions about real-world facts based on millions and millions of data. Usually, generated by the users.
Big Data: use of statistics to make careful conclusions about real-world facts based on millions and millions of data generated by the users.
If Netflix makes amazing recommendations is because there are millions of users from which they get information. Their consumption habits, their preferences about series, films, and documentaries. They can predict what would you like because they have data from thousands of people similar, in some way, to you.
Also, Facebook has millions of users, and they, with their likes, provide a terrific source of information to learn about how we are.
Other careers to look at: How to Get Started in the World of Digital Marketing
The secret recipe: statistics, massive data, and computers
In essence, the idea of Big Data is not really innovative. Various centuries ago, the idea of statistics was already an object of interest to the greatest scientist and mathematicians. The difference comes, I think, from the new possibilities that the digital world offers. We have never had such easy access to data and tools capable to manage it.
Never before in human history, ordinary people could have access to this volume of information. Think about Google. Billions of different people are daily searching for information that is directly related to their interests, preferences and even secrets. Every Google profile has data about age, sex, origins, etc. How can this information not be interesting?
At the same time, we have never counted with the adequate tools to process this information and, by making use of statistics, learn the conclusion about almost everything. From the clothes, we wear to how much we sleep.
All these qualities have affected as well to the business world. The job market is always looking for new changes and the profit opportunities they offer. Consequently, professional careers are adapting to this new era.
The data analytics career
And this is leading us to the most important part of this article, the new opportunities for students. The career of data analytics is, by difference, one of the most promising careers in the decades to come.
Although to work as data analytics you have to be formed adequately in hard careers, it deserves the price. Considering the utility for the future of those careers and the salaries you might get, it seems to be a good trade.
As we mentioned previously in the article about techie professions, degrees in Mathematics, Statistics or Computer Science are degrees really attractive for your future. Notwithstanding, if you want to go directly to a data analytics profession, you should consider the Bachelor Degrees in Data Science.
A simple search of this degree in Europe leads us to more than 1500 different results. It is not by accident. Modern enterprises are continually looking for new data analysts and pushing the older ones forward to be able to compete. A recent IBM prediction concluded that there is going to be an increment of 28% per cent in the data analysts demand by 2020.
Some MOOCs to start
As always, we think that is a good idea to try before with a free online course to see if the field attracts you and Big Data can be your path forward. Among those courses, you could find:
As an introductory course for a larger program in data science by Microsoft, this short course fits perfectly with our needs to know what data science is about. Also, if you want to continue, you could just follow with the rest of the program.
In this one-week class, you will learn the fundamentals of Data Science. It seems to be the perfect choice if you are starting from scratch and you want to get insights about Data Science without spending much time. Moreover, it is part of a complete program on this platform.
This is a direct introduction to Big Data, part of a larger program in a Big Data specialization. There are many contents and, to be sincere, is way denser than the previous course. Thus, with this course, you will learn everything you need to make yourself a complete idea of what data analytics is about.
Note: These courses are free to pass if you just want to learn, but if you want a certificate you will have to pay.
To conclude with the Big Data Analysis
The field of Data Science and Big Data analytics seems like a promising path for your future. From Netflix to Facebook, the secret in some of their successes lies in data analytics. If you want to become a data analyst, you should consider a Bachelor Degree or, to get started, try one of the online courses described.
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Thank you for reading and see you again soon.