I get a lot of calls from people who are interested in the field of analytics and are looking for the best way in. Some of the callers will call me after putting in the due effort online. They have gone through articles on our blog, looked at other sources of information and are now looking for some specific information, usually about the courses we offer.

Others are not so diligent. They may have spoken to a friend or a colleague who mentions terms such as “Big data” and “Advanced Analytics” and gets them all excited. I recently got a call from one such person. The caller wanted to do two courses – one on “Big data” and the second on “Advanced Analytics”. She was not impressed when I told her that our Foundation course will teach her both, that she will be able to learn how to perform advanced analytics on all data including big data. “But why do you not have a separate course for big data?” was her question.

I had to struggle to explain to her that big data by itself is meaningless unless you analyze it. Hence a course for big data is meaningless unless you are teaching how to manipulate and analyze it.

“Oh, I thought “Big data” was the name of a tool,” she finally confessed. “My friend kept telling me you have to learn “Big data”. I just assumed it was some software tool he was referring to.”

You can laugh at this but this is not an isolated incident. While many, many people are hearing about Big data all the time, very few actually understand what it means.

“Advanced Analytics” is another such term. To many people, it is this magical skill that can transform their career from a passenger train to a bullet train. I have had people coming up to me and asserting they have a 1 month break and hence want to learn advanced analytics. “Please skip the statistics and descriptive analytics bit, take me straight to Advanced analytics” they tell me.

And this confusion is not just there in the minds of today’s professionals. These same confusions prevail in a lot of company boardrooms as well.

David Court is a Director with Mckinsey and leads their global advanced analytics practice. David wrote an article recently in the Harvard business review that highlights the confusion in the boardrooms today with regards to the new buzzwords “big data” and “advanced analytics”.

CEOs are confused about how best to leverage big data. Many feel that their organization is simply not ready for it. Technology is no longer a barrier but the mind-sets still need to change. David points to an urgent need to prepare the front-line managers of an organization to the efficacy of these new potent tools.

You can read the HBR article here.

There is an interesting interview with David as well on the Mckinsey site.

Both the article and the video explain how businesses today can leverage the power of big data and advanced analytics. Anyone interested in this field will do well to read these.

Interested in a career in Big Data or Data Science? Check out Jigsaw Academy’s courses and find out how you can get started:

Data Scientist Course

Big Data Specialist Course 

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