Even Chris Brogan thinks that you’ll still need skilled people to analyze and manage data in the future. In a recent post on his blog, Brogan goes through some of his thoughts on job (consulting) opportunities for social media in the coming months and years. While his focus is on the consulting opportunities, he makes a strong statement that I think applies very appropriately to our world:
…we’ll see a push even further into sexy data, into using the marketing data that unstructured data gathering has brought to us all, and that analytics tools and people who know how to drive them will be the next sexy thing.
Bolding and emphasis are mine — but do you see some patterns? Unstructured data is what the Internet gives us. Along with raw data gathered from market research companies that hasn’t been scrubbed and polished yet, this is the information that we’re all after. We covered this earlier with The Future of Search. Marketing data is essentially the same type of information we as sourcers gather for the purposes of bringing on new hires. The only difference in our methods is the desired end goal. We are more like marketers than we may know. You may as well get used to this, sourcers. And sourcing leaders — how much is your sourcing team operating like a marketing team? It might be time to consider modeling that.
But the biggest and boldest part of this statement is the last part: “analytics tools and people who know how to drive them will be the next sexy thing.” As sourcing professionals, we’re typically the ones put in charge of monitoring social media channels, manipulating any/all of our research automation tools, and analyzing the effectiveness of these resources. This is usually because we’re the only ones with enough patience (and interest) to really understand how the technology works and how we can dig even deeper into some unknown uses of them. Again — these tools will not put you out of work; they will simply enhance your productivity if you sharpen your other skills and really take hold of the reigns of your career. But it’s cool to know that someone as well-known and well respected as Chris Brogan sees such value in professionals who work with automation and analytics tools.
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Have you ever thought of yourself as the ‘next sexy thing,’ sourcers? Guess what — you are.