SXSW 2015 Panel Recap: How to Prepare for the Tidal Waves of Big Data Jobs

During our SXSW panel titled “How to Prepare for the Tidal Wave of Big Data Jobs,” panelist David Mathison of CDO Club, referenced the Harvard Business Review article where DJ Patil, Chief Data Officer of the White House, claimed that “the data scientist is the sexiest job of the 21st Century.”

Over the last few years, there has been a surge in the number of Chief Digital Officers and Data Scientists jobs to accommodate the influx of big data. In 2014, there were more than 1,000 CDOs and thousands of data scientists worldwide, nearly doubling the amount of data jobs from 2013.

Seems like DJ Patil might be onto something.

So what does it take to be successful in this growing and unique discipline? Tracey Wallace, Managing Editor of Big Commerce, sparked the conversation asking panelists David Mathison, founder of CDO Club, Sree Srinivasan, Chief Digital Officer of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Amen Mashariki, Chief Analytics Officer of New York City, to paint a clear picture of what the current big data jobs landscape looks like and what skills are needed to be successful.

However, with opportunity that big data brings to the workforce, these types of roles also require a commitment to remaining ethical and respecting the privacy of the user data as Amen Mashariki, Chief Analytics Officer of New York City, pointed out.

And there seems to be a lack of clarity when it comes to data jobs. What’s the difference between a Chief Digital Officer vs. a Chief Data officer? Does your organization need one or both? The panelists offered some clarification for each role and how they are applied to certain industries.

David Mathison of the CDO Club provided a visual that helped pinpoint some of the key differences between each of these roles.

The panel also covered several important topics such as the typical career path of someone in the data fields, what skills are required to secure a data related job and much more.

To watch the full panel on How to Prepare for the Tidal Waves of Big Data Jobs, please click here.