Friday, May 13, 2011

A New Business Era for Analytics and Why Math Matters

According to The New York Times, there is a shortage of graduates with math skills, who can analyze the massive amounts of data that are now available for businesses (and other organizations).

Economists are saying that we are entering a new era, similar to the Industrial Revolution, in which the access to huge volumes of data can spur innovation, new products, and new business models.

McKinsey & Company issued a new report, Big Data: The Next Frontier for Innovation, Competition, and Productivity, which bodes well for those of us who, as business professors, teach the quantitative subjects, such as operations research / management science, as well as for our students.

Clearly statistics and experimental design and data mining are essential for filtering out the data streams but, as important, is knowing what to do with the data and how to optimize our business (and other) processes accordingly. We can't just sit and analyze the past but need to work on managing the world's resources for a safer, more secure, and sustainable future. Math matters and, besides, not only is it so much fun but doing and applying math is also rewarding and useful!

Perhaps the US will finally wake up and realize how essential math education is to the present and the future of our country and its very competitiveness.