School & District Management Report Roundup

Student-Data Professionals

By Sean Cavanagh — January 06, 2015 1 min read
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The ability to turn large amounts of raw data into useful information is increasingly important in both the workplace and in society, but schools aren’t teaching the required skills and knowledge adequately.

That’s the conclusion drawn in a new “occupational-skills profile for the big-data-enabled specialist,” released recently by the Oceans of Data Institute, a part of the Waltham, Mass.-based nonprofit Education Development Center Inc.

The institute pulled together the skills profile with help from more than 150 “big-data professionals,” including an astrophysicist, an expert on ocean-floor mapping, a Microsoft data scientist, a Google search-engine-analytics expert, a law-enforcement analyst, and a journalist.

“Hard” skills such as applied statistics and familiarity with algorithms were deemed essential for the job, but equally important, the panel emphasizes, are “soft” skills, such as analytical thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to discern patterns.

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A version of this article appeared in the January 07, 2015 edition of Education Week as Student-Data Professionals

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