SDC @ Strata - Edd Dumbill - Rockstar Unicorns
Edd Dumbill of O'Reilly, creators and hosts of the Strat Conferences, opened the day saying, "Companies are asking, 'How do we hire a data scientist? Where do we find these rockstar unicorns.' If 2011 is the year that data science emerged, one of the things we're gonna find this year is the importance of data teams. You know you can't find all of that in one person and companies are realizing that to reorient around data is a team thing and it's probably a culture thing that goes beyond that."
While companies this year are looking for the elusive data scientist to solve their problems, companies last year were looking for specialists in data visualization. Edd described visualization as filling the last mile between computers and our brains. When analyzing multi-dimensional information, business leaders need visualization to provide them with what they need to know to make decisions.
"We're all here because Big Data is big, but why is that important? We've built up an "exoskeleton" around existing business processes, but over the past few years this external support system of faster connections, more powerful small computers and software, we've brought this data processing "inside" where it has become a data nervous system. Web businesses are digital from beginning to end. The increase in mobile and sensor and social media requires that we take more of a systems thinking approach. Almost like biology, to understand the systems we're putting together.
That's why the "science" in data science is important. We need policy makers, anthropologists to help us understand where we're going.