Will Scully-Power

Google’s Chief Economist Hal Varian on the future of data


Hal Varian, professor of information sciences, business, and economics at the University of California at Berkeley and Google’s Chief Economist…

“I keep saying the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians.

People think I’m joking, but who would’ve guessed that computer engineers would’ve been the sexy job of the 1990s?

Varian then goes on to say:

The ability to take data—to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualise it, to communicate it—that’s going to be a hugely important skill in the next decade, not only at the professional level but even at the educational level for elementary school kids, for high school kids, for college kids.

Because now we really do have essentially free and ubiquitous data. So the complimentary scarce factor is the ability to understand that data and extract value from it.

I think statisticians are part of it, but it’s just a part. You also want to be able to visualise the data, communicate the data, and utilise it effectively.

But I do think those skills—of being able to access, understand, and communicate the insights you get from data analysis—are going to be extremely important.

Managers need to be able to access and understand the data themselves.

More: http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Hal_Varian_on_how_the_Web_challenges_managers_2286


2 Comments so far
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I agree to this. I work in the search marketing industry. Years ago when the search engines were coming up, they gave rise to specialized niche industry consisting of search marketing agencies. Even many web design & development services started to offer SEO and SEM services. I think the reason is partly because of abundance of free information on the internet which lowers the barrier to entry. Everyone and every agencies willing to invest long enough man hours to absorb, learn and implement these ‘free’ learning can pretty much offer these search marketing services.
That’s why the competitive advantage and the ultimate differentiator in the future will be those agencies who can go to the next level by offering advanced analysis on their clients’ online & search marketing data and relating that analysis & insights to the wider implication on the clients’ business. That is, to have a holistic view of the online data and somehow make it such that the insights gleaned from the data can have a important say in the strategic direction of the business.


Comment by Sydneynetwork

Spot on 🙂

Comment by Will Scully-Power

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