what you seeThere is so much data all around us. So much data that sometimes you may not see everything you need to see in order to make informed business decisions. Learning to coexist with big data is as important as understanding the importance of using social media for business and monitoring online conversations about the brands, people or topics that are important to you.

Professionals want to be successful at whatever they pursue, but that’s not easy to do when you don’t have the information you need or if you don’t understand how to interpret this data for your organization, or for your industry. A post on GigaOm argues in favor Data Scientists, those who are skilled enough to decipher what data reveals to business:

Like storytellers, data scientists embody the heart and soul of an organization and find ways to make it better. Every organization is going to employ someone whose responsibility is to use data to drive automated decision systems. With time, the decisions these data scientists make will become obvious and can be automated. Today’s decision makers get to spend time on more important jobs we haven’t even thought of yet.

We need data scientists, and we need hundreds of thousands of them.  They will do their magic, create new ways of experiencing life, products and services and, as Kevin Kelly says, “dream up new work that matters.”

Now let’s take this a few steps further. The Harvard Business Review (HBR) calls the Data Scientist a “key player in organizations”. HBR goes on to say a data scientist is…

“a high-ranking professional with the training and curiosity to make discoveries in the world of big data. The title has been around for only a few years. (It was coined in 2008 by one of us, D.J. Patil, and Jeff Hammerbacher, then the respective leads of data and analytics efforts at LinkedIn and Facebook.) But thousands of data scientists are already working at both start-ups and well-established companies. Their sudden appearance on the business scene reflects the fact that companies are now wrestling with information that comes in varieties and volumes never encountered before. If your organization stores multiple petabytes of data, if the information most critical to your business resides in forms other than rows and columns of numbers, or if answering your biggest question would involve a “mashup” of several analytical efforts, you’ve got a big data opportunity.

There’s no escaping big data. What you every day contributes to big data. For all we know, collecting and interpreting big data may one day be an integral part of social media monitoring.

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.

Henry David Thoreau

 At some point Digital Scientists will figure out ways to get value out of the digital mounds of raw data being stored. Your job may one day involve learning how to handle and interpret some aspect of the new streams of data your business collects. When it comes to online reputation management and big data, who knows what the future holds.

How might the intersection of big data and social media monitoring help your business see better?

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