The Offensive Linemen of Big Data

An NYT article finally calls out the unspoken heroes of big data: those who aggregate, collect, cleanse, and validate raw data before they are analyzed.  In our hiring process we immediately screen out any resumes that don’t include SQL and advanced Excel skills, even if they will end up working entirely in advanced stats software.  Why?  Because those who haven’t been elbows-deep in the raw data haven’t seen firsthand how the analytic approach to a problem relies on the data treatments, calculations, transformations are made upstream in the process.