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Are machines better than people when it comes to making hiring decisions? Which big data skills should you add to your toolbox -- and your LinkedIn profile -- to boost your paycheck? Does Nate Silver think Donald Trump will be the next US president? And how can you harness the power of big data to stay on top of the most sought-after holiday gifts this year?

We've got those answers and more in this week's Big Data roundup.

(Image: PonyWang/iStockphoto)

(Image: PonyWang/iStockphoto)

Let's start with the hiring recommendations. As we reported earlier, human bias does seem to impact hiring decisions -- and not in a positive way. A new study shows that machines make better hiring recommendations than people do, at least when it comes to employing low-skilled workers. The study measured success by how long workers remained employed in their jobs. Before you make your next hire, you'll want to check out the full story here.

[Are you a Facebook user? The government wants your data. Read Facebook Sees Surge in Government Requests for User Data.]

Big Data Skills for Bigger Paychecks

Perhaps you yourself are looking to add some big data skills to your toolbox, and potentially look for a new job in 2016? Well, a new salary survey from O'Reilly shows which skills command a premium in terms of salary dollars. The survey also tells you how much more you can expect to earn if you have a Master's degree or a PhD in data science, the best places to live for the highest data science salaries, and whether it matters if you are a man or woman when it comes to your salary in data science. Check out the details here.

Intel's Data Chief Shares Success Secrets

We caught up with a top data scientist this week and talked to him about his career predicting the stock market, improving glaucoma diagnostics, and hiring the best data scientists. His name is Bob Rogers and he joined Intel as the company's first-ever chief data scientist at the beginning of this year. He also told us about how Intel uses big data and analytics internally, and how the company helps other organizations apply big data and analytics to solve their own challenges. The full story is here.

Rogers recently was part of an all-star data scientist panel addressing data science graduate students at New York University. This week, he wrote about what he and the other panelists told this next generation of data scientists, and you can check that out here.

Nate Silver Weighs in on Trump's Chances

What does Donald Trump have to do with big data? Well, he continues to make headlines and lead in Republican polls a year ahead of the US presidential election. But does he really have a chance?

Nate Silver, the statistician who famously (and correctly) predicted the 2008 US presidential election, threw some cold water on the Trump hype during an address this week at the Salesforce World Tour event in New York. While Hillary Clinton is pretty much inevitable as the Democratic nominee for president, according to Silver (unless there is an unforeseen scandal or a health problem), the Republican race is still anyone's game. Find out why here, and also why the poll data you read everywhere may not be very accurate. It's growing less accurate each year.

Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP News

Onto some big product news. Microsoft this week announced the next generation of its Dynamics AX ERP software, and this one has been built with a cloud-first approach and new capabilities for Azure Machine Learning and Power BI. The company launched a public preview this month and said the full release will come in first quarter 2016. More on this major pivot from Microsoft here.

Salesforce Adds More Analytics to Marketing Cloud

Meanwhile, Salesforce used its World Tour event this week to showcase new analytics capabilities added into its Marketing Cloud. Check out what it can do here.

Holiday Shopping, Brought to You by IBM Watson

Hey, Thanksgiving is coming up this week, and Black Friday will follow right after. Are you ready? IBM Watson can help, apparently.

The new IBM Watson Trend app is designed to help shoppers identify the trendiest products, understand what is driving those trends, and figure out the best time to buy. The app is available for iOS and as a desktop app. More on that here, and Happy Thanksgiving.

**New deadline of Dec. 18, 2015** Be a part of the prestigious InformationWeek Elite 100! Time is running out to submit your company's application by Dec. 18, 2015. Go to our 2016 registration page: InformationWeek's Elite 100 list for 2016.

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