Big Data Outlook: The Future is Bright for Grad Students with a Data Science Degree

DATA SCIENCE | 3 MIN READ

With the future of big data on the horizon, graduate students with a data science degree will be in high demand. Pictured here is a student reviewing a data dashboard.

Business—especially tech—is all about knowing what’s hot and what’s not. If you’re familiar with the latest trends and how they’ll shape what comes next, you’ve got a leg up on the competition.

Big data is one of the most notable buzzwords to crop up in recent years—and for good reason. Such large collections of information are already having a major effect on the world of business, government and community management. The big data revolution is here, and the future holds even more potential.

Students interested in a data science degree can prepare for a great career by understanding where big data is headed. Here, we’ll break down four predictions for how big data will impact the world during the rest of 2018 and beyond:

1. Big data will be a strong asset for businesses of every size

The idea of using large collections of data was quickly embraced by big corporations. American Express uses such information to get a more accurate forecast of customer loyalty and potential churn, while Netflix uses it to create appealing original programming. However, smaller businesses have been slower to catch on. There are many reasons for this lag. For instance, smaller organizations have:

  • Fewer resources
  • An inability to create the same volume of data as their larger counterparts
  • Doubts that big data will have an impact on their small-scale operation

This line of thinking could be a competitive disadvantage as the influence of big data spreads. Soon, an increasing number of companies will understand that every bit of information they generate is useful for making smarter decisions and operating more efficiently. Those that are slow to catch on will find themselves scrambling to catch up to the competition sooner rather than later. When the time comes, they’ll need talented data analysts to steer them in the right direction.

Jim Kulich

There are possibilities to extract data in just about every professional setting you can think of.

James Kulich, Ph.D., Data Science Program Director

“[One of Elmhurst’s] outcomes is that students can work across a range of disciplines, understanding needs and problems, then analyze how modern data can help solve those problems,” says James Kulich, Ph.D., a data science professor and program director at Elmhurst College.

For example, data science degree students can review factors that drive additions to an emergency room or gather data from a security system to differentiate between important and insignificant sounds. Industries of all kinds collect data, and analysts can review this information and extract important details regardless of the company type.

2. Real-time analytics will be influential in decision making

In the past, businesses focused on creating daily, weekly and monthly reports. These were certainly useful, but they quickly became outdated as the pace of business started to increase and more companies began to operate globally.

In fact, this statement extends beyond business. Governments and community organizations need real-time reporting as well. Think, for example, how useful up-to-the-minute data collection could be during a natural disaster. Officials in Washington D.C. could see how many homes are without power, and thus unable to communicate, and then use this information to send a more accurate number of resources.

Businesses will need programmers and analysts to develop these speedy analytics applications and interpret the data. That’s where data science graduates come in.

3. Retailers that rely on big data will thrive

According to Forrester, more businesses will switch from predictive to prescriptive analytics. Instead of relying on intuition, opinion, and instinct to solve problems, they’ll use insights from big data and artificial intelligence to align themselves with how customers browse, buy and pay for products.

Forrester’s recommendations are for companies to learn from accomplished brands and start where AI and big data will have the greatest impact, essentially taking a big leap forward to catch up with the competition. A qualified data analyst is the perfect person to help these companies make the most of their data.

4. The future of big data starts with education

As the demand for big data increases, organizations of all types will need competent, educated analysts to meet their needs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most big data analysts have at least a master’s degree.

Elmhurst College’s Masters in Data Science may be the perfect program for students looking for a unique educational experience that can lead to a successful analytics career. The online format provides complete flexibility, allowing students to earn their degree without disrupting the rest of their life. Yet, Elmhurst’s program directors, networking opportunities and online study structure allows students to develop the same sorts of relationships that on campus programs provide.

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Sources

Posted August 17, 2018

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