What are the skills needed for the new big data economy?
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Expert Help in Defining a New Field

A few weeks ago, I was privileged to meet a fantastic group of people. They came from varied professions--including higher education, technology, and law enforcement--and they all used big data to make decisions every day. During a two-day panel organized by EDC's Oceans of Data Institute, this group took the first step towards defining the specific skills, attitudes, and behaviors that comprise a "big-data-enabled specialist."

It was fascinating to hear all of these experts talk about their work. Data is important to them because it helps them solve real problems of importance; it is a tool to answer questions. Everyone found common ground despite coming from such different industries. 

They accomplished something quite important, too. The occupational profile that this panel created is a big step forward for both industry and American education. The panel agreed that the U.S. is not preparing students with the data skills needed for life and work in the 21st Century; the profile is the first step towards helping industry define what it takes to be a big data-enabled professional. It will also help inform how we teach mathematical, logical, scientific, and reasoning skills in K-16 classrooms.

But our work isn't done yet. Now, we need more big data professionals to review the panel's work. Interested in helping us? Take this survey before September 22.

This profile is an exciting step. Surely, it is only the first of many as we figure out what it means to prepare students for a big data economy. 

Ruth Krumhansl, Director
Kim Kastens, Principal Scientist
The EDC Oceans of Data Institute

Our 11 experts worked hard during the two-day panel. There were some light moments, too. Want to help us complete the panel's work? Take some time to validate the occupational profile.
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