Big data is just fascinating. It has opened the doorways to understanding ourselves and our habits and also revealed the gateway to actual machine learning. And so, I can understand that you would want to get involved in this rapidly growing technological area.
But how can you do that if you don’t actually have a Ph.D. in data analysis and statistics? Is the only choice to go back to school and get those letters in front of your name?
It turns out that there are other ways to get into this fascinating area. One of the best ways to do so is to get into project management, because when you get enough egg heads and IT specialists together, you’re going to need somebody who can manage them. Do you think you might be able to do that? Then here are some of the ways that you can make that happen.
Create Connections in the Industry
The first step is to start communicating with people in the industry. With it being so new, there is still quite often a real feeling of camaraderie. That means that if you start showing up at the events, following (and commenting on) the websites and connecting with the people involved in the industry, you’re going to forge inroads in no time.
These will be useful to get into the industry. It doesn’t stop there, however, as they’ll be a constantly useful source of information about new developments and upcoming events. That means that you’ll always be at the bleeding edge of what’s going on. Sure, you might not understand the technology, but sometimes knowing which direction to take is more about understanding the philosophy and the underlying concepts.
Learn the Different Languages
There are many different groups from many different sectors being pulled into Big Data. That means that there are going to be a lot of different ideas about what is the right course and how things should be done.
If you want to manage that correctly, you’ve got to make certain you speak the different languages pretty much fluently, so that when conflicts inevitably occur, you’re in a position to arbitrate between the different sides. In this way, rather than having your team fight and get on each other’s nerves, you can make sure they become a cohesive whole.
Managing and Learning
With this industry still developing and changing rapidly, you can’t just work on managing your team. You have to work on advancing their knowledge and their skills. This means being constantly alert to what skill sets your team is missing and working hard to fill those gaps through courses both paid for and free.
If you can make certain that your team members keep growing and excelling, then you’ll be able to bask in their reflective glory. Of course, to make sure that happens you’ve got to take one more step.
Create Opportunities for Your People to Shine
There are many ways to do this. Create and manage a blog to do a bit of content marketing for the skills and abilities of your team. Here, if you’re a skilled writer, you can translate your team’s realizations and innovations into material that’s accessible to a wider audience. Set up interviews with other blogs and websites where they can get a really big audience. Get them speaking opportunities at events and conferences.
Basically, get your team to showcase their abilities and you’ll become known as the person who turns their teams into stars – which will turn you into a star of your own.
Record Your Team's Process
Another great area where there are a lot of opportunities to learn and share with the wider world is to carefully track the working processes that your team builds up over time. If you can make sure that you really map them out and explore them in depth, you can both help steer your team more effectively, as well as share these processes with a wider audience.
This will create yet another reason why people in the industry should pay attention to you and will –if done diligently and intelligently – create yet more inroads deeper into the industry.
With big data becoming ever more of the field of interest, the people upstairs are going to get ever more interested in what is going on. That means that you’ve got to make certain they get the information they need, manage expectations and make sure your team is as insulated as possible from the crackpot schemes that people in upper management sometimes dream up when they don’t truly understand what they’re talking about.
If you can do this correctly, then you’ll be able to make certain that your team can truly shine and do their best work. If on the other hand, you allow management to dump their expectations and ideas onto your team on a regular basis, then all that your team will be able to produce is stress and negative energy.
So pay attention to how to not just manage your team, but how to also manage those higher up the ladder.
Don't Forget the Traditional Project Management Skills
Whatever you do, don’t get too enamored and blown away by the ideas of big data. Sure, there are many ways that the field is different from other areas and another idea. That does not change, however, that you’re still talking about project management. That means managing people and everything that comes with it.
And so, make sure that you’ve still honing the skills that are involved with that process. In that way, you’re still got the basic skills in place that are both essential to project management and getting a leg up on whatever industry you end up in – be it big data or whatever the next big things is that comes along.