Per the Economist, technology and (to a lesser degree) consulting get more popular for MBA grads at the expense of banking. I would second that combination. Never a dull moment in both fields.
For all those consultants that are tired of lugging around bricks, this new adapter (Dart) should be a god send. Apparently it comes to market in mid-November 2014 at a price of $79.
Nice little article in the Economist about the connected car. As expected, it has some interesting points especially on how a connected car would foster a different business relationship between the car manufacturer and the car buyer. One titbit that caught my eye:
Mobile-phone operators see the connected car as yet another device to be hooked up to their networks. In America, AT&T is letting drivers of GM cars add their vehicles to their data plans, alongside their smartphones and tablets, for $10 a month. In future, which mobile network you use may affect your choice of car. In a recent poll Nielsen, a market-research firm, found that half of Americans who owned cars made since 2009 would be less likely to buy a new car if it had a different data plan from their smartphone.
Worth a read.
Both HBR (“Pushing the limits of personalization“) and the New Yorker (“Make me a match“) had related articles on the creepiness of Big Data. The part that caught my eye was from the new book Dataclysm (by Christian Rudder – founder of OkCupid):
Just from your pattern of likes on Facebook (and without relying on status updates or comments), an algorithm can determine with eighty-eight-per-cent accuracy whether you are straight or gay. Sixty per cent of the time, it can tell whether your parents were divorced before you turned twenty-one.
There’s a lot of pablum about Big Data. Most of it is either too high level (i.e. Big Data is going to save the world) or too deep (i.e. developer documentation). So it was nice coming across this article on how Hadoop actually works under the covers. It’s probably the clearest explanation I’ve ever seen.
There’s a lot of talk in enterprise clients about the “right” big data tools/platforms (e.g. Cloudera vs. Hortonworks vs. MapR etc). I think this kind of discussion misses the point. The war is not going to be won by picking the right platform/tools.
The real war in Big Data is of course for the talent. Both for engineers (who can understand the rapidly evolving software space) and for the data scientists (who can do something useful with the data). So it was not really a surprise when I saw the “whiteboard” at the Hadoop conference in California (over the last few days) full of big data jobs. (There were actually 3 such whiteboards, full of jobs.)
This is what companies should be worried about.
Interesting little article in the Economist about how McKinsey is moving into the restructuring consulting space (typically dominated by Alvarez & Marsal and Alix Partners). Although the incumbents are saying (rightly) that one needs experienced hands (and not just smart young consultants), there’s no reason why the strategy firms can’t hire experienced hires.