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Why are these businesses so obsessed with finding PhDs? There are lots of PhDs micro-managing the Federal Reserve / US economy, and there is no evidence that PhDs truly understand the economy or what they are doing.

The problem isn't lack of academic credentials, the problem is the hiring firms are focused on finding "safe hires", people with academic degrees (and little business experience) who will fail -- yet leave the recruiter with a good excuse.

PhDs are for universities, not the business world

      • 3:48 pm February 4, 2014
      • Rick Schultz, Alteryx wrote:

      Nice article James - thanks. However, I would point out that we still see a ton of non-PhD Data Analysts who really know their business well (industry, company and department/ function), understand what data is most important, and are evolving their skills to take advantage of Big Data and Predictive Analytics, performing customer analytics for their firms. We see this across industries but especially in retail, restaurants, telecom (wireless & cable), healthcare and financial services. With the right tools and training on newer technologies and techniques, Data Analysts are rapidly becoming the stars of their organizations - and there are a lot more of them than there are PhD Data Scientists.

      • 3:32 pm February 4, 2014
      • Size matters wrote:

      I agree with xxx, above. Forget the PhD - you want a small team of good engineers. Big data is "big" because it's too big for an off-the-shelf SQL DBMS. Without SQL support, you need the engineers to pick the right database, coordinate the data feeds and write code to distill meaning from the data. Once you have basic reporting, sorting and filtering then call the PhD's for advanced analytics.

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