Our society today is highly influenced by data. Most companies and organizations make their decisions and take actions based on the information they gather and analyze. Because of this reliance on data, an argument is gaining traction online.
Many people are wondering about the actual worth it has in today’s world. Does it have an effect on professionals like you who are practicing in the field of Data and Analytics? This article aims to answer that question by diving into the importance of data and its implications in our current world.
Emergence of Data Science
In recent years, data science has successfully merged different areas such as statistics, computer programming, and advanced analytics revolutionizing the world as we know it. It has transformed processes in numerous fields, from medicine to customer experience, and its significance continues to grow.
Data scientists, as projected by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, are expected to increase in number by up to 36 percent from the year 2021 to 2031.¹ This statistic reveals the growing demand for data experts in our data-driven world.
As technology progresses, more products, services, and decisions are relying on data-driven insights, creating a pressing need for skilled professionals in the field of data analysis.
Data as the Most Valuable Currency
Since terms like ‘data analytics’ and ‘big data’ have been gaining popularity in the world of work, people are beginning to discuss the true importance of data in the present time.
Back in 2006, British mathematician Clive Humby famously stated that “Data is the new oil”. This has become a topic of discussion in the fourth industrial revolution as people as people contemplate whether there is a truth behind the analogy.
Arguments Against the Idea
Despite the comparison, some individuals are refusing the comparison entirely. They claim that oil and data are very different in many aspects. First, they argue that the value of oil stems from its scarcity in the world. It’s a known fact that oil may be used up in the future, so it’s viewed as valuable and expensive.
Meanwhile, data can easily be created or replicated with the right tools. For example, companies can utilize existing data available online to enhance their current AI systems.
Another argument they have focuses on the perceived importance of both oil and data. Oil holds a universally understood value as its applications are well-established and consistent worldwide. However, data’s significance can vary based on the entity possessing it.
For instance, if a high school student gains access to the purchasing habits data of American people, it may not be of much use to them. In contrast, if the same data is provided to business owners, they would likely find it valuable and leverage it for their benefit.
An Argument in Support of the Idea
Even with these arguments, the other side of the data-as-new-oil debate is insisting that data is the newest and most valuable currency the world currently has. Their main argument revolves around the value of potential. They believe that brands are trying to maximize the collection of data because they understand the power it has to make their company a success.
According to research conducted by McKinsey & Company, lots of Americans are now more intentional about the types of data they share and to whom.² People were found to willingly share their information only to businesses and companies that can offer them something valuable in return. This value exchange can be in the form of a product or a service.
Similarities Between Both Sides
Regardless of their contrasting opinions, their reasoning seems to show quite a few similarities. Generally, they both agree that data has a potential that needs to be refined, processed, and kept secure.
Those who disagree with the idea propose data to be treated as assets rather than oil. This is because oil is simply purchased and kept until it can be used while assets – similar to how data should be protected and utilized by the right experts. This coincides with the idea of those who agree with the idea. Specifically, their argument that marketers and employers need to step up and invest in data.
For the rise of data as currency to happen, it needs to be treated with care and effort. Employers needs to do the following:
- Understand the potential of collecting, managing, and using data. If an employer can’t grasp the basics of the idea, then the information they gather may not be used to its full potential. Or worse, it would not be given enough importance.
- Invest in professionals who are experts in handling and analyzing information. Even with knowing the basics, it’s still very important to have someone in their team that can help them utilize data to achieve the best outcome.
- Encourage people to make data-driven decisions and innovations in order for information to matter. Employers should allow their experts to provide input on how they think data can be maximized. A business can only succeed if they take into account the professional opinions of its experts.
Implications for Professionals in the Field of Data and Analytics
Now that the importance of data is established, how could society’s treatment of data affect a professional like you? The answer lies in the opportunities that come with the new age.
Emerging Job Opportunities
The increasing recognition of data’s value brings forth various opportunities in the new age of data-driven decision-making.
1. Data Analyst
This job includes the responsibilities of collecting, organizing, and analyzing information in order to identify different patterns. Once identified, they are tasked to create insights that can help their company make informed decisions.
Usually for this role, employers look for people who are proficient in different analysis tools such as Excel and Python. They also prefer an individual who has strong attention to detail and analytical thinking
Read More: Data Analytics vs Data Science
2. Privacy and Security Specialist
People who are hired for this position are responsible for securing and protecting any data their organizations possess. They prevent any breaches or unauthorized access to the company’s storage of information. They’re also tasked with ensuring that the organization they work for can comply with the data protection laws expected of them.
Aside from familiarity with the said laws, requirements for this position include a mastery of cybersecurity tools and protocols. Ideally, they should also have good skills in communication, collaboration, and problem solving.
3. Data Architect
In order to fully utilize data, companies need to have a solid data infrastructure in their company. This, along with data bases, are designed and managed by Data Architects. Their role is meant to ensure that the information received by their company is being stored properly.
Aside from data being kept securely, they’re usually asked to make information easily accessible to specific people within the company as well. Data architects are required to have extensive knowledge about designing and modelling databases while also being an expert in different data management systems.
SEIZE DATA-DRIVEN OPPORTUNITIES WITH DAVIS COMPANIES
At DAVIS Companies, we’re dedicated to linking your skills to data-powered opportunities. Our services bridge your talents with organizations seeking expertise like yours. With over 30 years of experience, we excel in connecting you to ideal roles in manufacturing, engineering, and IT.
Together, we can find the best job opening for you the DAVIS way. Contact us today to begin!
1 “Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Jul. 2023, www.bls.gov/ooh/math/data-scientists.htm.
2 Anant, Venky, et al. “The Consumer-Data Opportunity and the Privacy Imperative.” McKinsey & Company, 27 April 2020, https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/risk-and-resilience/our-insights/the-consumer-data-opportunity-and-the-privacy-imperative.