• Data change agents: People who drive changes in internal operations and processes based on data analytics. They may come from a Six Sigma background, but they also need the communication skills to translate jargon into terms others can understand.
• Data engineers/operators: The designers, builders and managers of the big data infrastructure. They develop the architecture that helps analyze and process data in the way the business needs it. And they make sure those systems are performing smoothly.
"The people who do the best are those that have an intense curiosity," says D.J. Patil, data scientist in residence at Greylock Partners. Patil probably knows what he's talking about: Forbes magazine credits him and Cloudera founder Jeff Hammerbacher with coining the term data scientist. And earlier in his career, Patil helped develop the data science team and strategy at LinkedIn.
Frequent Computerworld contributor Tam Harbert is a Washington, D.C.-based writer specializing in technology, business and public policy.
This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.
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