Data scientists as the new Mad Men

May 22, 2018

Ken Auletta for The New Yorker looks at “math men” replacing the Mad Men:

Engineers and data scientists vacuum data. They see data as virtuous, yielding clues to the mysteries of human behavior, suggesting efficiencies (including eliminating costly middlemen, like agency Mad Men), offering answers that they believe will better serve consumers, because the marketing message is individualized. The more cool things offered, the more clicks, the more page views, the more user engagement. Data yield facts and advance a quest to be more scientific—free of guesses. As Eric Schmidt, then the executive chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, said at the company’s 2017 shareholder meeting, “We start from the principles of science at Google and Alphabet.”

I know the big tech companies is where the money is at, but I hope you young statisticians out there consider the other possibilities. Your skills are valued in many places.

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