Big Data Analytics Skills – A Revolution Lacking in Revolutionaries

Colegrove, L. - Presenter, The Dow Chemical Company
Since the advent of the common use of the term “Big Data[i]” in 2010 to describe large, unruly sets of data, and the artful analysis thereof, industry has felt besieged by opportunity. The chemical and refining industry has been faced with “Big Data” long before it was cachet. Yet within industry there is still a struggle to get hearts and minds around what the Big Data Journey means to an organization and how to take advantage of the data opportunities that lie within. The added complication to the chemical industry is that it must add “contextualization” to the data analysis because it’s not enough just to know there is a signal, we need to know what the signal means[ii]. Yet during this data revolution there is an underlying challenge that Academia, Industry and Governmental Agencies must tackle together to ensure the US Chemical industry retains its competitive position in the world. Together we need to provide education for the higher level skills and abilities required across roles in manufacturing to assure that no one gets left behind in the new Big Data age. Indeed, the next great technological “step” made may not be in engineering design or IoT connectedness (reference Industry 4.0), it may be in designing and creating a better human capability in “data acuity“ out of our university system; operators, engineers and scientists alike who are better prepared for the data age than their predecessors. This talk will take a look at what Industry requires in skills sets and perspective to be “data ready”, and what Academia and Government might do to improve the output of data-ready skills.