On Fri, Dec 8, 2017 at 11:33 AM, Cowing, Jared <[log in to unmask]>
> I've noticed that the fields of Data Engineering & Data Architecture are
> really coming into their own recently, following the big Data Science
> explosion. I've even seen library positions using these terms (though not
> for librarians). This seems like an area that libraries could really
> contribute more to (and an area that some library folk could be poised to
> move into). Does anyone see that data trend in the private sector affecting
> this discussion about librarian developers?
I think there is a lot of short term data action, but I don't see this
lasting in its current form long term.
When you get right down to it, saying you work with "data" is like saying
you work with "computers" or "electronics" (to borrow magic buzzwords from
decades past that would get money thrown at you just for saying them). The
term is broad to the point of being meaningless, and people who actually
work with it say much more specifically what kind of data and for what
purpose as the tools and expertise required are totally different. At least
the private sector jobs I've seen require specific expertise which makes
sense. You wouldn't hire a BI person to work with genomic, geophysical,
medical imaging, or any other kind of data they don't understand.
As is the case with the person in my BI example, our abilities to
structure, analyze, search, etc data are limited. That's not a deficiency
with the profession. Rather it simply reflects that doing anything useful
with any kind of data requires requires bona fide expertise that takes many
years to acquire and a solid grip on how it is used.
Having said that, I still believe we bring something to the table. Even if
we lack specific domain expertise, we can still help people develop
processes that serve their needs better. You'd be amazed (or maybe you
wouldn't) by some of the nutty things researchers do. At the same time, I'd
be leery of diverting away from the core area we have actual expertise in
-- namely connecting people with resources they need. Making it easy to
find open and purchased resources provided over a myriad of platforms and
by many entities is is getting more rather than less challenging. And when
if we really do it well, people don't even realize they're using us. But
that's a separate problem...