Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Big Data Jobs

Recently I read an interesting HBR post: Your C-Suite Needs a Chief Data Officer.  My spin?  Big Data jobs will be the new “black” in job creation.

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Outsourcing manufacturing jobs is a hot election topic.  Apple has been receiving some heat for their production of iPhone’s in China.  Specifically the number of assembly jobs for low skilled laborers at lower wages which we cannot match here in America.  Candidly, that is the new reality of our global economy.  Manufacturing jobs will continue to evaporate in America.

Enter Big Data, currently another hot topic.  The HBR blog I referenced earlier addresses how companies now are beginning to restructure their organizations to enhance their Big Data capabilities.  One department will be responsible for collecting, storing and extracting data; a new department will be responsible for creating data solutions.  The post suggested that this new area will be led by a Chief Data Officer who will be responsible for leading information driven decision making on behalf of all business units.  The CDO’s people will facilitate the process of turning the collection of data into actionable insight.

Marketing is my area of expertise, so now I would like to share my thoughts how laborers in China who produce x amount of iPhones in one shift will potentially create new, educated skilled jobs here in America.  To demonstrate my point I will use a hypothetical snack company called Zesty which is about to launch their new Latin Citrus Chili Chips targeting convenience stores.  Detailed below is a list of new educated skilled jobs associated with the launch of Zesty’s new chips.

·   There will be a need to analyze all of Zesty’s consumer snack data by market, specifically mobile, social and location data, better known as SoLoMo data.  Most probably several trained Regional sales/marketing analysts will be hired.

·       Once marketing reviews the data and gleans key learning, a smart marketing solution might be to place a banner ad on the leading music sharing site Pandora that people already have downloaded on their iPhones.  Marketing most probably will then work with an agency which in turn will need the services of one or two technical/creative people (internal or external) to develop the mobile banner ad complete with a “call to action.” 

·     Consumers pumping gas outside of C-stores will be alerted about Coca Cola specials thanks to their NFC (Near Field Communications) enabled iPhones.  When they enter stores to pay for their Coca Cola, store clerks, thanks to new POS systems complete with software solutions will suggest buying a snack based on soda and salty snacks data.  Therefore, skilled sales people will be needed to sell-in these new POS systems (according to Nielsen there are over 148 thousand C-stores).   Trained technicians will be needed to install and service the new systems.  Someone will be needed to train the trained technicians.  Trainers will be needed to train the C-store clerks.  Someone will have to train the clerk trainers.  Hopefully consumers will close the loop and purchase Zesty’s product due to their banner ad on Pandora.  Better yet, consumers will pay for their Coca Cola and Zesty purchase via their mobile wallet in their iPhones.  Mobile payments will create a flow of jobs.  Big Data job creation marches on.

So think about it, laborers in China assembling x iPhones per shift will potentially create numerous educated skilled Big Data jobs here in the States.  Manufacturing has morphed.  Big Data is the future, the new “black” in job creation!


  1. Dead on, Jim. Taking it a step further, in addition to the BIG DATA jobs, there potentially could be more "assembly" plants in the US once robotics capable of intricate assembly and finishing evolve. Then assembly of iPhones and the like could take place here. The high value design and development of iPhones takes place here, but assembly now is offshore. New union and regulatory standards would need to be developed as well to allow such steps.

    Bottom line: more jobs of all kinds will develop, and although some will be low-skill, few will be "no-skill". The MFG jobs of yesteryear are (likely) gone forever.

  2. One other comment: If you don't change your blog-site to one with a reasonable security entry, I promise I will stop leaving comments! I have a high res 24" screen and it still takes me tow to three tries to get thru the security entry!

  3. This is a test of the new comments system. It appears to eliminate the annoying security fields. I am going to click PUBLISH now and see what happens...

  4. WRONG...the change just moved the same security system to the next page. No real benefit.

  5. This is another test for Jackie

  6. I do apologize for all the problems Tom re: comments. Thank you for your continual readership.