Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Datarati

The 'Datarati' refers to "a new generation of data gurus who have emerged on the online advertising scene. The 'Datarati' are responsible for using data to optimise the campaign performance of the world’s largest brand owners." I read about this group on the blog of Will Scully-Power, after discovering this blog-post: "Google’s Chief Economist Hal Varian on the Future of Data".

A quote is as follows:

“I keep saying the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians. People think I’m joking, but who would’ve guessed that computer engineers would’ve been the sexy job of the 1990s?"

The blog-post links to an article in the McKinsey Quarterly, which includes an audio-stream. We've mentioned Hal Varian quite a bit on the blog before, including this post with a link to a talk by Varian on the "Economics of Internet Search".

Also worth looking at is the interview with Varian conducted by Kenneth Train. This can be accessed on Kenneth Train's website (here). There are also some very interesting interviews with other Berkeley Economists, including George Akerlof, David Card, Daniel McFadden and Janet Yellen.


Kevin Denny said...

I am reminded, of course, of the classic episode of the Simpsons where Homer is on the space shuttle. This is a response by NASA to increasing apathy to its flights (not unlike the idea of including a teacher for example). As an example of how boring astronauts are the preceeding shuttle crew consist of "a mathematician, a different kind of mathematician and a statistician". So I think there is some way to go before Varian's predictions are borne out.

Martin Ryan said...

A mathematician, an accountant and an economist apply for the same job.

The interviewer calls in the mathematician and asks "What do two plus two equal?" The mathematician replies "Four." The interviewer asks "Four, exactly?" The mathematician looks at the interviewer incredulously and says "Yes, four, exactly."

Then the interviewer calls in the accountant and asks the same question "What do two plus two equal?" The accountant says "On average, four - give or take ten percent, but on average, four."

Then the interviewer calls in the economist and poses the same question "What do two plus two equal?" The economist gets up, locks the door, closes the shade, sits down next to the interviewer and says "What do you want it to equal?"