Here are a few things that have caught my eye lately from the world of Big Data and analytics.
Back in September, I explained why Web developers should care about analytics. This week I noticed a job opening for a Web developer at Grist that includes knowledge of analytics in the list of requirements. That doesn’t exactly make for a trend, but I expect to see a lot more of this going forward.
Also worth noting are the two data-related job openings at Rent the Runway. They have an opening for a data engineer and one for a data scientist. These two jobs are frequently conflated, and there is some overlap in the skill sets, but they’re not the same thing. For the most part what I do is data engineering, not data science.
If you do want to get started in data science, you could do worse than to read Hilary Mason’s short guide. Seth Brown has posted an excellent guide to basic data exploration in the Unix shell. I do this kind of stuff all the time.
Here are a couple of contrary takes on Big Data. In the New York Times, Steve Lohr has a trend piece on Big Data, Sure, Big Data Is Great. But So Is Intuition. Maybe it’s different on Wall Street, but I don’t see too many people divorcing Big Data from intuition. Usually intuition leads us to ask a question, and then we try to answer that question using quantitative analysis. That’s Big Data to me. For a more technical take on the same subject, see Data-driven science is a failure of imagination from Petr Keil.
On a lighter note, Sean Taylor writes about the Statistics Software Signal.