On the rise of Big Data and Data Science

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This post is going to differ slightly from the data-orientated material that I usually publish. I was recently playing around with the Google trends API and came across some very interesting…well….trends. There has definitely been a huge amount of publicity surrounding “Big Data”, maybe even too much. For those of us who have been working in academia, large datasets were becoming a natural day-to-day occurrence that, in my opinion, was a byproduct of the ever-increasing computational power at our disposal. While, there is no doubt that we have arrived in an era in which diverse data can be continuously collected in large volumes, this will only be of any use if statistically and computationally-savvy individuals are put the task of analyzing and retrieving the most relevant elements of the data. Here, I will show just how Big Data and Data Science has been on everyone’s mind for the last few years.

A search for Big Data reveals the sharp growth in searches from 2011 onwards:

Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 11.39.23 PM

Google trend data for searches of the phrase “Big Data”.

We can also see the origin of these searches across the globe, with a particularly strong cluster located in India.

Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 11.49.34 PM

Geotagging of Google searches involving the phrase “Big Data”.

Alongside the rise of Big Data was the acknowledgement that data scientists would be required to analyze this data, which was reflected by the sharp increase of searches for “data scientist” and also “data scientist jobs”

Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 12.01.51 AM

Google trend data for searches of the phrase “Data Scientist”.

Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 11.55.33 PM

Google trend data for searches of the phrase “Data Science Jobs”.

Clearly, the interest is there and doesn’t appear to slow down for now. On that note, I would love to start a project in which you could predict whether a trend is there to stay based or not based off historical trend data for google – that would be a neat little project!

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