Is Your Job Really In Jeopardy?
In few a short years, your job will be obsolete.
We’ve all seen messages like that. It seems that every few years we get a rush of news stories about how the latest trends in technology are going to put us all out of business. The media loves to sensationalize the notion that one day computers are going to take over and put us all out on the street. One such article was posted on LinkedIn last week. In that article, the author describes how several professions are in danger of becoming obsolete due to the new advancements in data capture and analysis. There was even a white paper published by Oxford University that breaks it down into a mathematical formula. (If you’re not into reading white papers, here are two articles that summarize the paper.) If you skip down to the conclusion of that paper, it clearly states that they “make no attempt to estimate the number of jobs that will actually be automated.” Instead, the paper merely makes broad assumptions about how current technology can be used to automate jobs as they are now.
As is the case with all new technological advancements, these improvements will merely serve to automate time-consuming tasks and open up our schedules to take on more complicated projects. Articles such as those mentioned before are merely trying to gain readers by sensationalizing a subject. They focus on the gloom and doom side of the story instead of how we can adapt to the new technology or how it will improve our lives and make our current jobs easier. Let’s examine the new technologies responsible for these unwarranted insecurities.
Automated Data Capture
Sure – Google has a self-driving car that uses large amounts of sensor data in addition to all the data they’ve gathered for their mapping service to stay on the road. But does that mean that all taxi drivers are out of the job? No. What it means (to me, at least) is that, fairly soon, we will be able to integrate some of these automated systems into our own cars to improve our own ability to drive. I see this new technology as a means to enable current drivers to drive more safely. With more than 88 deaths a day in 2011, I think we could all use more automated drivers on the road.
One of the fastest growing trends right now is Big Data. The ability to query extremely large amounts of data quickly can only be a boon to almost any industry. The fear is that with that much data at our fingertips, what will we need with experts anymore, right? Does this mean that doctors and nurses are going to be out of the job? Of course not. It means that medical search engines and helpful medical tools are going to get much more intelligent and help doctors with their jobs. If we can reduce the number of incorrect diagnoses, or provide doctors with higher resolution images, it can only increase our chances at recovery and minimize malpractice lawsuits.
Big Data is also being used to aid farmers. Monsanto bought the Climate Corporation which is a company that uses machine learning to predict weather patterns based on huge amounts of localized weather data. We’re not talking about automating farming here; we’re talking about providing farmers with data that they’ve never had before and giving them the ability to better predict what will happen during the growing season so they can better optimize their technique.
We all know artificial intelligence is a long way off; but with the advent of Big Data and new predictive analytics algorithms, we are getting closer than ever before. Look at Watson! An IBM-built computer that competed on Jeopardy in 2011 and won. What is Watson doing now? Helping out healthcare professionals, of course.
I can see that the advancement of Big Data has really opened up new doors for artificial intelligence. No longer are we building software that reacts to the current situation. Rather, we allow the algorithms to analyze large amounts of data and predict what will happen next based on history.
My job as a business intelligence professional is to provide companies with new and better insights into their business by analyzing trends based on data. Many of my friends see my job as automating tasks and replacing resources. The fact is, my job is to provide new tools to aid people in their jobs and make their tasks easier. By providing large amounts of data at your fingertips and teaching you how to use new tools to help you analyze data, you won’t have to spend all your time wading through piles of spreadsheets and drowning in bad data. Instead, you and your employees will be alleviated from the stressful part of your jobs and open to spend more time finding those analytical gems that increase efficiency in your company (and money in your wallets).
Thanks for reading and look out for my next post.
Brett Neuman has been developing business intelligence strategies for more than eight years at several fortune 500 companies. He has implemented data warehouse solutions and analytics strategies for many verticals including Health Care, Finance, Retail and Marketing. He has a strong background in application development, data warehouse architecture, data modeling, ETL, OLAP, reporting and dashboarding utilizing both the Business Objects and the Microsoft suite of Business Intelligence platforms. Brett joined StatSlice for the opportunity to empower organizations to make more effective business decisions through the availability of accurate, mission-critical information.
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