Big Data analysts – ‘rock stars’ of the Corporate World?

Evan Davis is perhaps best known for his roles presenting the Radio 4’s Today Programme and BBC 2’s Dragon Den. However this week he took the time to speak with Dave Coplin on the flagship BBC Radio 4 business programme, The Bottom Line. Dave was joined by Lawrence Jones, Founder of UK Fast and Konrad Feldmann CEO of Quantcast for a discussion of big data – specifically, how to store it, gain insight from and monetise it.

The general consensus was that whilst data has never been easier and cheaper to store and access- largely thanks to the Cloud, the real ‘magic’ is what firms do with the data. Amongst many examples, Dave explained how analysing the 3 billion chromosome pairs that we all have could change what it means “to be human” and pointed to work that Microsoft has done to combat diabetes via its cloud-based health platform Healthvault.

The guests also looked at the quid pro quo of consumers sharing their data with third parties. Dave argued that consumers are getting more ‘savvy’ about what they expect in return for choosing to share data and introduced the concept of ‘differential privacy’ – how more can now be discovered about consumer behaviour whilst the users themselves remain completely anonymous.

The programme concluded that data science and mathematical skills have never been in higher demand and that those that can contribute to helping their business understand big data could become the new ‘rock stars’ of the corporate world. You can listen to the programme here (UK only).

BBC Radio 4 Bottom Line
BBC Radio 4 Bottom Line

October 11, 2013