‘Data gives us the tools to experiment’

,,Last year  in March, there were 600 vacancie for data-scientists, at the moment there are over 1500. So you can say all the companies in Holland  are awake. They realize they have to do something with data, but how?’’
Professor Arjan van den Born at the University of Tilburg , specialized in entrepreneurship in the creative industry, is one of the driving forces behind the new data science study programs and tracks in Brabant. An initiative of the university of Tilburg, Eindhoven, the provincial region Brabant and the city of Den Bosch.
Van den Born knows how urgent the need of these ‘data experts’ is. Some Dutch companies are looking abroad to get the well educated data scientist. The data scientist, working with the ‘oil of the 21st century’ are necessary to clean, filter and use all the available data. How to extract value? ,,That is the main question from the industry.’’
These new data scientists will have to help the companies to clean, filter and use the data. From industry to health care and education, big data is useful everywhere, says the professor. ,,Of course  it still leads to a necessary ethical discussion about privacy. What if our medical data get in the hands of insurance companies? But we also know for example that we will need an enormous amount of DNA samples, combined with information about our environment to really achieve something in the battle against cancer.’’
Van den Born believes that all the developments around big data will also change eventually the organizational structure of companies. ,,Big data gives you the tools to experiment. I was at Booking.com, the Dutch company. There are all about data, about our preferences, about our interests online. There an intern came up with a new logo and very quickly they just put it on one of their websites. To see if it works.’’ There is no need for long meetings, data gives a lot of tools to experiment and to decide. ,This will change a lot in the company’s culture.’’
Van Den Born also states that the type of  managers and CEO’s will change. The manager of the future should have at least some  analytic skills. ,,In the past we had people from the floor, more experts who became manager. Later we saw the rise of the more generalist managers. And you will see in that in  the future we will see people who understands how statistics work and what the value of big data can be.’’

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