The People Of The Petabyte (Big Data, Big Money)

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Big data is big noney. And the "big" adjective is crucial, because that’s what justifies new infrastructure investments. By Venkatesh Rao (Contributor, Forbes)

Speaking of data geeks, that’s the topic of this post. I’ve spent much of my first couple of days at Strata idly observing them (and wondering whether I am one of them), and speculating about the various species in the data scene (people-watching is how you stay awake between the interesting slides at conferences). So here is my informal taxonomy and anthropological survey of data-land.

A Taxonomy for Data Land

The taxonomy part is simple. Apparently the list of species in data land is very short. It has only one item:

Data scientist

Okay, I am exaggerating a bit, but that’s what it feels like, to hear the talks and hallway conversations. IT admins, six sigma types rushing to the data bandwagon, ex-BI types, visualization and infographic geeks, analytics geeks, programmers, old-school statisticians, Hadoop wranglers — they all seem to be calling themselves data scientist now. There are more complicated taxonomies floating around, but everybody appears wary of accepting them.

Which brings us to the informal anthropology of what’s going on.

» Read the full article on Forbes.