Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) and Others to Face a Big Data Miner Shortage

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There is no denying the success of the Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) original series House of Cards, and for many this came as a real shock. For the people at Netflix this shock was tempered by the amount of data they had in their possession to produce this show. According to New York Times journalist David Carr, because of the amount of time and money invested in collecting user data, House of Cards was actually a fairly safe bet to be a success.

Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) and Others to Face a Big Data Miner Shortage

Just as Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) collect personal information so does Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX). What they found was that people like: political thrillers, Kevin Spacey, and David Fincher. So logically, Netflix put together a political thriller starring Kevin Spacey and produced by David Fincher. They also found that the average Netflix user enjoys “marathoning” new shows and consequently released all 13 episodes of House of Cards simultaneously.

However, what should frighten Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and others is a 2011 report by McKinsey & Company, Inc. that predicts a severe shortage (with demand outpacing supply by 50 per cent in North America by 2018) of people who can effectively interpret “big data” by crunching the numbers and “seeing” the potential for individual products tailored towards consumers in a user-friendly manner.

But this predicted shortage has business schools stepping up to the plate. One of the most recent to get in on the act is Queen’s University School of Business, which plans to offer a Master of Management Analytics this June.

“These days, businesses are flooded with data and they don’t have the people, resources and tools to start using data to generate value,” says Yuri Levin, director of the new management analytics program and a professor of operations management at the business school in an interview with Canada’s Globe and Mail.

But once again demand is outpacing supply. The university has received over 200 applications to the program where only 40 seats are available. The program will last 10 months and cost Canadians $36,000 and international students $55,000 with the bulk of the work being done on Wednesday nights and Saturday afternoons in downtown Toronto following an orientation session. The program is catered to working professionals with management experience and conversely towards “big data” specialists looking to enter into management.

“The war for talent in this space [of big data] is going to be one of the defining characteristics of winners and losers,” predicts Brian Ross, president of Precima, a shopper-focussed analytics consultancy of Loyalty One Management Group. He adds “data is not just something you have to do to operate; it has become a core competency.”

Certainly, seeing this demand will only see more universities exploring their own programs.

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