Over the last few years, data has been slowly transforming the way we understand our planet and, in particular, commerce and business. Since the invention of the internet in the early ’90s, computers, and technology have revolutionized the workplace to the point that it’s now almost impossible to think of any job that doesn’t require tech to at least some degree – all of it producing data through work.
A fourth industrial revolution and the concept of big data
Many industry experts suggest we’re now in the throes of a fourth industrial revolution – a time when our reliance on computers and machines is set to increase far beyond any previous expectations.
At the heart of this transformation lies data – indeed, many believe data is now the world’s most valuable commodity. At present, it’s estimated we currently produce around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day globally – a high percentage of which is produced by businesses. Data on this scale can offer invaluable insights to our world, but to truly interpret and understand it takes specific skills.
Tips for getting into big data
By far the best way to enter this burgeoning sector is by gaining a relevant qualification. While IT experience will clearly be a huge help, analyzing data takes a particular skill set that you’re unlikely to possess unless you’ve already held a similar role.
Many find it surprising to learn that one of the best qualifications for data analysis positions is a degree in economics. Courses like those offered at https://appliedeconomics.bc.edu/ could see you quickly pick up the knowledge and skills you require to land a job very quickly in the sector.
Big data careers promise career stability – in very unstable times
As the world slowly emerges into a ‘new normal’ promised by the roll-out of vaccinations, there is little doubt that many jobs lost through the coronavirus pandemic will be gone forever, never to be restored or replaced. Couple the job losses caused by COVID with the seemingly-incessant march towards artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and automation, and it often feels daunting trying to think of a job with any kind of future-proofing.
However, unlike so many other careers, studying for a qualification that is suited to data analysis offers the promise of considerable career stability in the days to come. With the imminent growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), our data production is only going to increase – leading to substantial opportunities in the area, particularly in data analysis.
Big data and the IoT
As its name suggests, the Internet of Things is literally an internet devoted to devices – connected devices capable of generating, sending, receiving, and interpreting data. The tech is being used to improve our understanding of everything from farming production methods to traffic flow around cities.
On a smaller scale, the IoT is now starting to appear in our homes in devices as diverse as kettles, toothbrushes, smart TVs, and heating systems. As these tech items communicate with each other, they’re generating vast swathes of data that can be interpreted for all kinds of uses – for example, by power companies to predict potential surges in demand and manufacturers looking to improve the reliability or range of services offered by their equipment.
Big data is already here and already making significant changes to the way we look at the world. With such predicted importance and incessant growth, it seems beyond doubt it is on the verge of becoming the next big growth sector globally.