According to who you follow on twitter, facebook, friendfeed, google reader, blogspot—oh, you get it—we either live in the Information Age, the Digital Age, the Age of Persuasion or, my latest fav, The Age of Curation. Naturally the thing that makes all of these “ages” possible, and short lived, is the internet! A posting on Microsoft recently made me think of a new “age”—the age of information bloat. How do we unbloat it? A couple of recent sites came up which I have linked to at the bottom that help, but before you get there here is what human resource departments everywhere are, or will be, looking for to handle this mess of an age:
Data Mining/Machine Learning/AI/Natural Language Processing
All of these fields help us sift through and organize huge amounts of information or data. When you apply your knowledge in these areas to a challenging problem in the online space, you know that you are working at a scale that is just immense. It’s much easier said than done. If you have a passion for this area and have a technical background there are a multitude of open positions that might hold a long-term career for you. With the move to the cloud and the sheer amount of information on the web, this area of expertise will continue to be in great demand. Microsoft has a great need for both people interested in the research space and the applied space which is very refreshing.
Business Intelligence/Competitive Intelligence
The ability to see trends, make sense of data for a business audience and help to understand your customers requires a special person. Someone with a mix of engineering, BI/CI experience and a business mindset can take this field to the next level. You will help increase any employer’s bottom line and be able to provide organized data that is extremely valuable to any business. You can help drive business decisions and help your internal audience understand what the data is telling or showing you.
Analytics/Statistics—specifically Web Analytics, A/B Testing and statistical analysis
All of these subjects are offshoots of traditional degrees in CS and mathematics. They all apply to the online world we live in and will also be in great demand as we continue to monetize the web. Retailers, web services, and advertisers will need people in these fields as they try to get the most for their advertising money. As we continue to see the dollar amounts spent for online advertising worldwide, these fields will be hot and we will see online advertising change over time as a result of these positions.
In our own humble way at BookNet we try to provide the tools that can and will be used in the book industry by the existing staff that fill these roles. Our tools—SalesData, Prospector and to some degree BiblioShare—let you mine data so you can provide actionable insight and statistics that help you wade through the bitstream of information.
We can’t all be Lisbeth Salander, but with BNC Salesdata we can all easily drill into the book industry information bloat to find what we’re looking for. For example, if you want to analyze recent trends in mystery mass market pricing, we can help you. Here’s what you’d plug into SalesData:
Report Period: Year (ending most recent week Sep 05, 2010)
Market: All Markets
Subject: Fiction / FICTION / Mystery & Detective;
Binding: Mass Market;
Price: List Price is $10.00 - $19.99
Publication Date: Is between January 2008 and January 2010
Limit to: 100 rows
With data provided by us, all that’s left is analysis. That is what I call creating a collection!
Tools for the Age of Curation: