In China, Big Data Is Becoming Big Business

At Bloomberg Businessweek, Christina Larson describes Chinese companies’ growing interest in “big data”, which has been described in the West as “A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think” and a “buzzword tsunami [that] is mostly big hype.”

At a presentation last week at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management, China’s premier business school, associate professor of marketing Meng Su predicted: “China will soon become world’s most important data market.” He advised job seekers in China and elsewhere to consider training for a new career path as “data scientists,” which he described as “one of the most valuable jobs in the next 10 years.” Interpreting big data seems poised to become big business.

[…] Professor Su warned, however, that the hype around big data in China may be a case of too much, too soon: “If everyone is talking about something, there is probably already a bubble,” at least of expectations, he said. “Most Chinese companies don’t own enough data, let alone know how to utilize, analyze, or monetize their data.” In other words, a select number of companies in China that do own large quantities of user-generated data—such as Alibaba and Baidu (BIDU)—hold the cards and may profitably sell that valuable information to other vendors. [Source]