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Big Data, Data Science and Analytics in Australia

20th Mar 2015

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Alec Smith leads the Data Science, Engineering and Analytics practice for Xpand in Australia. 

He is a strong believer that a recruiters position allows for a unique perspective on the market so keep an eye out for future topics of discussion around this space.

I moved to Sydney in June last year. Like every other Brit in Australia, I moved for the sunnier climate and a life by the beach (yes, I live in Bondi!). My background in the UK was in investment banking technology and the first time I got a flavour of ‘big data’ was when the fraud department of a global bank asked for artificial intelligence experience. I was instantly intrigued! 

Personally, I can’t imagine recruiting in an area that doesn’t interest or challenge me intellectually. So when I started my research and came across concepts like machine learning and predictive analytics, the decision was made – I was moving into this field in Australia!

So, for the past eight months with Xpand, I have been on a journey to discover the market in Australia and on a crash course in science, engineering, statistics, distributed computing, scalability – the list goes on. And this is my attempt at summarising what I have learnt so far – a recruiters perspective if you will!  

Why do organisations need Data Science and Analytics?

As a starting point, it is worth pointing out that Australia is a smaller market than say, the US or UK, so data sets are inherently smaller. But to avoid getting caught up in the murkiness surrounding ‘big data’, I am not just concerned with who has massive volumes of data – I am interested in whether Australian organisations are employing data science and advanced analytics, irrespective of the sizes involved. Put simply, is Australia doing this stuff well? 

To read the full piece, please click here.