It was five years ago, exactly, in October 2012, when Harvard Business Review (HBR) declared “data scientist” to be the sexiest job of the century. HBR told the stories of Jonathan Goldman and D.J. Patil from LinkedIn, and Jeff Hammerbacher from Facebook, among others. They were the ones who coined the original term “data scientist” back in 2008 while they were leading data and analytics at their respective companies. The appearance of data scientists on the business scene reflects the fact that enterprises are now dealing with information that comes in varieties and volumes never seen before – what we usually call “Big Data.”
Also in 2012, the research company Gartner suggested that there will be 4.4 million “big data jobs” in the coming years, and that only a third of them will be successfully filled. That projection should not have been surprising. Everything is moving toward data at the speed of light: big data, mobile data, performance data, content data, product data, and even data about how we measure our data.