At the JSM 2011 conference in Miami earlier this week, we conducted an informal poll of attendees on their attitudes to respect to Big Data, statistical software, and data science. JSM is the largest gathering of statisticians in North America, and attendees were invited to complete a survey after logging into the Wi-Fi network.
Of the 190 respondents to the question “How strongly do you identify with the statement, 'I consider myself a data scientist'”, more than 85% (164) agreed or agreed strongly. 9.5% (18) responded “don't agree” to the statement. Given that there's been some controversy over the use of the term “data science” instead of “statistics” in some circles, it's interesting that so many statisticians at JSM are comfortable with the moniker.
Also of interest in the survey was the respondents' predictions of how their use of statistical software packages are likely to change over time. Asked, “In the next 24 months, do you expect your use of the following products / languages to increase or decrease?”, 44.6% expected their use of R / Revolution R to increase. (Only 2.4% predicted a decrease.) Similar figures for other software packages are shown in the chart below.
Revolution Analytics: 97 Percent of Data Scientists Say 'Big Data' Technology Solutions Need Improvement