There is a pressing need for more businesspeople who can think quantitatively and make decisions based on data and analysis, and businesspeople who can do so will become increasingly valuable. According to a McKinsey Global Institute report on big data, we’ll need over 1.5 million more data-savvy managers to take advantage of all the data we generate.
But to borrow a phrase from Professor Xiao-Li Meng — formerly the Chair of the Statistics Department at Harvard and now Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences — you don’t need to become a winemaker to become a wine connoisseur. Managers do not need to become quant jocks. But to fill the alarming need highlighted in the McKinsey report, most do need to become better consumers of data, with a better appreciation of quantitative analysis and — just as important — an ability to communicate what the numbers mean.
1.Understanding, targeting, and serving customers
2.Understanding and optimizing business processes
3.Personal quantification and performance optimization
4.Improving Health (and R&D in general)
5.Improving Sports Performance
6.Optimizing Machine and Device Performance
7.Improving Security and Law Enforcement
8.Improving and optimizing cities and countries