Editor’s Note: Data Roundup is a regular feature on Information Space.
Adam Sandler + Netflix: Data Points to Success
Netflix continues to make business decisions and investments based on insights from their data. As Will Richmond writes in his post on LinkedIn, Netflix builds data collecting mechanisms into all of its core business processes. They’ve been successful with bets on shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Now they are taking a large bet on Adam Sandler. Some might wonder, why Sandler? As it turns out, Netflix finds that audiences across the globe watch a lot of his movies, so it is a good bet that Netflix funding future movies of his has low risk, and high reward.
Mashable wrote about careers in data this past week. The article focuses on what careers in big data look like, how to get the skills needed to get a job, and also what employers need to do to attract talent. Long story short? Careers in data are hot right now. Job seekers, with the proper training will be in high demand, meaning employers need to be ready to hire quickly, with great benefits. In the future, more and more industries will invest in mining data for clues to success, so the field should continue growing for many years to come.
If you are interested in getting some of the training necessary to have a successful career using data, check out the Certificate of Advanced Study in Data Science at the iSchool!
Data in Higher Online Education
Watch out, higher education. If you haven’t already been disrupted, data is coming for you. From Ars Technica, Matthew Rothenberg writes that some institutions that offer online education, like Capella University, are using data to create profiles of students as they progress through their studies. Based on student success on assignments, competencies are added to their profile, so it is easy to track progress. Additionally, in the future, expects to see degrees much more personalized based on an individual student’s needs. So while a college degree will likely remain, it may well be specific to the student.
Tableau, a company that produces software for data visualizations, held its annual conference this month. Its CEO, Christian Chabot, gave a keynote address about how those who analyze data are creatives, similar to an artist. Though the consensus may generally be that data analysts are just number crunchers behind a computer, Chabot argues that being able to find solutions to problems through data, and expressing those solutions to many different people, is very creative. The keynote is worth watching, though it is two hours long. A summary of the keynote is here.
Another week, another set of major data breaches. Kmart’s payment data systems were compromised and credit and debit card numbers were stolen. The company does not believe personal information, including names and social security numbers were stolen. This is yet another example of a retailer’s payment systems being breached, following Home Depot and Target. As Re/Code published, these retailers do not have the proper protections in place, so in many ways, these breaches should not be a surprise.
So while Kmart’s security issues are disturbing, JP Morgan experienced the breach that is potentially the scariest. JP Morgan had some 80 million records stolen. While the hackers were not able to actually take money from customers, they were able to spend a good deal of time in the system. The breach was bad enough that President Obama and his national security team were briefed regularly, according to the New York Times. That one of the biggest banks in the world could experience a breach like this is worrisome, but it could be just the beginning. The same people who broke into JP Morgan’s system may well have gotten into Bank of America and Deutsche Bank. This is a good time to remember to check your accounts and your credit reports, as data breaches are more and more common.
What kind of data news have you heard about this week? Let us know what you think of these reports – or others you’ve discovered – here in the comments!