What is Big Data?

Big data is a new paradigm and a complete game-changer. Disciplines which hitherto had never been considered in business are now key elements to understanding the markets.
Artificial Intelligence, data warehousing, data analysis, which not so long ago were not even considered academic subjects, are now hot topics in every company and data geeks play an active role in the decisions-making processes.

Big data related positions are high in demand, but it is not easy to find experienced and qualified professionals. In addition, there are no well-defined learning paths for preparing for these positions.

There is no one single big data role, as big data needs to be seen as an IT & Business ecosystem, where different parts need to be aligned and work together. It is at this point where Universities and training centres should think about where students and professionals need to place their focus, based on their academic background, experience and interests.

Today, digital transformation enables instant access to a high volume of information that needs to be processed, classified and stored, to provide an in order to support sales and marketing operations. Big data platforms specialists are at the very beginning of this journey by providing the technical support and data availability to business analysts.

On the other hand, the analyst needs to combine business acumen with data science tools and a high component of creativity for problem-solving. Marketing and business managers are leveraging these data analysis techniques and demanding more big data capabilities across organizations.

When you are in the process of choosing between one academic programme or another, the most important thing is to know where in the new data driven organization you want to have an impact. Once this is clear, the next step is finding the right balance between the technical components and the business analysis processes.

Business and marketing backgrounds combined with training in computer applications are very solid foundations for an analyst, while computer studies might be more suitable for big data platform administration and data mining.

Another important element to consider it is the background of the academic institution. Only with a strong background in different business areas such as finance and marketing, linked with a set of cutting-edge analytics tools, marks a specific academic programme as the right choice.

Big data academic programmes with only a mix of IT technologies, tools, programming languages but without a clear business analytics orientation could be considered good for an overview, but would not really be an appropriate workbench for training great professionals.

By Francisco Cantero

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