Data scientists are hot, and you want them in your life.

The Harvard Business Review proclaimed data science as the sexiest job of the 21st century, back in 2012. Fortune magazine halfheartedly agreed, in 2015. The Wall Street Journal glorified the category in March.

Data scientists are the people who work in machine learning and artificial intelligence. They’re good at puzzles; they groove on correlations. They matter to any IP-active industry, because parsing through mountains of data is dirty, complex, and frustrating. 

Companies like Google tripled its base of machine learning researchers over the past few years, according to an MIT survey (they call it “deep learning”); Facebook is big on it for facial recognition (“do you want to tag so-and-so”?) and targeted advertising (how many things have you randomly/impulse purchased, while making the rounds?)

In the world of video and broadband, machine learning and AI (artificial intelligence) is emerging first as a way to proactively manage care issues, preferably before they occur. A new drop of software hits a subsection of devices; call-in rates spike. Are the two related? They are! Roll that code drop back, stat. 

Or maybe a laser in a node is running hot, and the last time that happened (four states over) with the same kind of traffic loading, it failed in a particular way -- which can now be proactively avoided. Or maybe it’s about quantifiably identifying the best possible offer to successfully salvage a “flight risk” (read: pissed off) customer. 

Watch for more data scientist-types to find their way into the work of connectivity and useful automation. Be grateful. Welcome them! Give them ways to correlate their theories, with actual data. Be patient with their ceaseless follow up questions (by all accounts, this is the hardest part.) Let them do their thing, so that your thing gets that much better.

What does “better” look like? Maybe it’s a nightly “highlights reel” you get via your outdoor webcam, which stitches together footage of anybody who came to the door. Maybe it’s helping you to sort out whether that’s actually the dog coming through the dog door (as opposed to a burglar.) 

The point: IP is digital. Digital is data (and all of its doppelgangers, like metadata.) Mining it for the greater good isn’t just science -- it’s art, too. 

So! Start to surround yourself with artists, disguised as data scientists. Start now, because they’re as scarce as homes for sale in Denver. And, later on, when you’re all jacked up on what other crazy, unconquerable ideas you can suddenly and definitively conquer, thanks to the magic of data? Remember who suggested this to you.​