Executive Summary
Working with Big Data
By the U.S Department of Labor

The primary purpose of this article is to examine the role that data and statistical analysis plays in our society. Furthermore, it first provides an explanation of what big data actually is and then goes on to give an overview of the various kinds of big data work along with some of the challenges that may come with it. To conclude, the article provides insight on how to prepare for this type of work and lists contacts for additional information.

Section 1: What is Big Data?

According to the article, Big Data is generally defined as a collection of large datasets that cannot be analyzed with normal statistical methods. There are two different types of big data: Structured Data and Unstructured Data. Structured data are numbers and words that can be easily categorized and analyzed whereas unstructured data includes more complex information that cannot be easily separated or analyzed numerically.

Section 2: Working with Big Data

Workers, often referred to as data scientists or analysts, not only provide an analysis of the data; they must also process, clean, organize, and remove errors or excess information from it. It is important to note that an analysts’ job tasks differ based on the type of data with which the work. The following are examples of a few specific kinds of big data and a description of the analysts’ role with them:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics not only determined these occupations have median annual wages double that of the median annual wage for all workers but also projects them to continue with average employment growth between 2010 and 2020. That being said, there are many challenges facing those who work with big data and thus why they may be compensated so fairly. Some of these challenges include:

Section 3: Preparing to Work with Big Data

A major impairment in the widespread use of big data is the lack of workers with appropriate training and skills. Most analysts have a master’s or higher degree. To be successful you must have knowledge of statistical analysis and computer systems along with experience in the relevant field or industry. Common course work includes a focus on math, statistics, and computer programming. The most crucial skills to possess include: problem-solving, communication, teamwork, and most importantly curiosity.


So as you can see, big data is a collection of large data sets that are not easily analyzed. Judging by the BLS’s projections, the areas of work that go with it are only going to continue expanding over the next decade. From business to finance to healthcare, almost any industry can benefit by hiring or appointing a data scientist. The whole purpose of their career is basically to analyze and improve some aspect of the business or organization. They are well educated employees with a strong background in math, statistics, and computer programming. That being said, I think that our company would greatly benefit from at least appointing a few employees to exploit the “big data” phenomenon. We have over one thousand customer reviews come in a week; by hiring these data analyst we could use this valuable information to examine and significantly improve our customer satisfaction ratings which are currently at an all-time low.