Photograph by Polygraphus/Getty Images
By Alan Murray and David Meyer
April 6, 2018

Good morning.

The fastest growing job in America is… data scientist, according to LinkedIn. The profession has grown 6.5 times since 2012–which is when the Harvard Business Review first branded it “the sexiest job of the 21st century.” It also happens to be one of the best paying jobs, with a median salary of $113,000–which I guess is part of what makes it sexy.

That should be no surprise, to anyone paying attention to what’s happening in the corporate world. For the last couple of years, companies have been told that data is the new gold, and that machine learning applied to that data will transform their business. And yet studies by folks like the McKinsey Global Institute suggest that still only a tiny fraction of that corporate data–maybe no more than 1%–is being turned into useful intelligence. What to do? Hire a data scientist!

By the way, LinkedIn data released yesterday also suggests U.S. hiring activity in March was up a whopping 19% from March a year ago, and up 3% from February. The sectors showing big increases include financial services, insurance, aerospace, automotive, and transportation. LinkedIn calculates that hiring rate by looking at members who change the name of their employers on their LinkedIn profiles. The Labor Department’s take on March employment, which may be more reliable (although I’m no data scientist), is due out this morning.

And some Friday feedback:

DS asks if the Deloitte survey saying CFOs plan to invest their tax windfalls, rather than return the money to shareholders, might reflect “survey bias”–with CFOs saying that because they believe it is the “right answer.” That’s always possible.

And KM accuses me of a “disrespectful attitude” for suggesting the president’s Amazon tweets can’t be counted on for factual accuracy. That wasn’t intended to be a political or policy statement, KM. It’s just an irrefutable conclusion, based on the record of the past year.

More news below.

Alan Murray


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