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July 4, 2023 - 7 minutes

Myths and Misconceptions About Big Data

Are you sure you know what big data is? Let’s debunk some common myths.

Ironhack - Changing The Future of Tech Education

You’ve heard about big data; after all, it would be nearly impossible to not know what it is today! Big data is all the rage, propelling progress forward and allowing us to reach unforeseen progress in the field of technology. But what exactly is big data? What does it do? Is all that we’ve heard really true? We’ll tackle these topics and much more in this post. 

What is Big Data?

Let’s explain big data: on a very high level, big data refers to the tools and technologies developed to manage large quantities of data. Made up of structured, semistructured, and unstructured data, big data is used in machine learning and data analytics projects to process, interpret, and draw conclusions from these large amounts of data. There’s no specific quantity of data that big data demands; instead, any sort of data that simply cannot be processed by humans is grouped into this category. 

The three different types of big data are: 

  • Unstructured data: this type of data is not ordered or categorized, therefore making it harder to interpret by machine models. Examples include video and audio files, dates, and satellite imagery. 

  • Structured data: this data is pre ordered and structured, facilitating the sorting process. Because it's already organized, drawing conclusions from the data and interpreting results is much easier. Examples include transactions and financial records.

  • Semistructured data: semistructured data is just what it sounds like--it’s not completely unorganized like unstructured data, but still lacks the clear parameters of structured data. Examples include streaming data and web server logs. 

Examples of big data

Curious about how big data manifests in the real world? Check out some of these examples of big data in six major sectors: 

  • Marketing: major companies like Amazon receive astronomical amounts of data every single minute and through innovative data storing and processing, they can see what clients are searching for and suggest similar objects, or sell the same product again, delivering an ultra-personalized customer experience

  • Healthcare: long gone are the days of sifting through case studies to find similar symptoms or treatments; doctors and medical professionals can now use big data to access previous patient records in just moments, allowing them to quickly and efficiently find a solution. 

  • Transportation: has your phone ever suddenly changed your route, alerting you of traffic or a car accident ahead? Using massive amounts of real-time data stored on databases, big data can help you get to your location as quickly as possible.

  • Government: even at a local level, elected officials have tons of constituents and things to keep in mind; with big data databases that are dedicated uniquely to organizing and making sense of local finances and crisis information, government officials are better able to understand the entire picture. 

  • Cybersecurity: big data has advanced to a point where we can program the system to detect peculiarities; this is very helpful for detecting possible cyberattacks and unusual behavior. 

  • Business: companies have a wide variety of things to keep track of: operations, people and HR, financials, and sales are just a few. So when big data can step in and organize that data and bring conclusions to leadership, it greatly lightens the workload and allows leaders to make data-driven decisions.

Why is big data important? 

You know that making data-driven decisions is an absolute necessity when it comes to business. As companies receive more and more data from even more sources, being able to actually put that data into practice and make better decisions from it can mean improved productivity, higher revenue, better customer services, and overall better company performance. 

Here’s an example: big data can track and store client experiences on their website, looking at how long they spend on a certain page, the products they search for and buy, and what promotional tools are bringing customers to their site. But for big and small companies alike, manually processing this data in real-time is impossible; there’s simply too much. With big data, however, companies can receive updated and accurate assessments, which can help them guide their future decisions. 

The five V’s of big data 

Big data boasts five advantages, frequently referred to as the five v’s: volume, variety, velocity, value, and veracity: 

  • Volume: big data can handle just that--lots of data, much more than your typical device or computer, making it extremely valuable. 

  • Variety: big data is capable of receiving and organizing a wide range of types of data, even if the sources are quite varied. 

  • Velocity: big data has to be able to quickly and effectively receive, store, and process real-time data.

  • Value: these large quantities of data have to be valuable for companies, meaning it must be properly evaluated and stored.

  • Veracity: authenticating the value of the data and its reliability is a crucial part of depending so heavily on big data. 

Now that you’re clear on what big data is, how it’s important, and what it brings to the table, let’s explore some of the biggest myths and misconceptions surrounding it. 

Myths and Misconceptions About Big Data

You’ve probably heard a lot about big data and it can be hard to sift between what’s real or fake. Well, we’re here to clear up a few of them:

Big data is too big

Lots of people doubt that big data can actually handle the amount of data it receives! And while we get that concern, remember that tools and techniques have been developed alongside big data to automate the processing steps and experts have devoted their entire careers to understanding big data. If you’re still not convinced, try speaking to an expert so that they can show you how artificial intelligence and other tools help decipher this data effectively. 

Big data is too expensive for small companies

False! Big data solutions, such as the cloud, are actually quite cost-effective, especially when you compare the cost of having and maintaining giant storage installations. Options on the cloud are also entirely customizable, meaning you can decide exactly how much space you need and even test out different options. No matter the size of your company, there are cost-effective solutions for the cloud. 

Big data is, well, big

Here’s a tricky one. We tend to think of big data as a large and overwhelmingly massive quantity of data, right? But actually, big data is made up of lots of little data points, such as an individual transaction or online search. These little data points come together to form big data, which then works to make sense of and find correlation between these points. 

Big data will replace humans

We just know you’ve heard this one! And while big data is capable of storing and processing much more information than humans are capable of, no machine will ever (or at least in the relatively near future!) be able to imitate human decision-making, intelligence, and emotions. The combination of big data working to order and sort the data and then humans using their knowledge and creativity is ideal. 

Big data will always make the best decisions 

Just like with any tool in tech, big data can make mistakes; it also lacks the human decision-making capabilities that take various factors, such as environmental and emotional ones, into account. Big data is not flawless, but together with human intelligence, we can harness the power of both parties. 

Big data is just for tech companies 

Wrong again! Although it’s typically referred to when talking about tech and data itself, all companies, regardless of sector or size, can benefit from big data to sort through their sales or financial data, to name just a few areas, and make improved, overall business decisions. 

Big data can predict the future 

We wish this were true, but it’s not! Just like in any area, the outcome of any proposed solution will depend on hundreds of factors and even if you use predictive models to make your best estimate of what can help, erratic human behavior or force majeure could mean that the prediction is totally off. Conclusions drawn with the help of big data should be carefully reviewed with discretion before setting anything into motion. 

Big data has taken over!

While lots of companies and media outlets are constantly referring to big data and its usage is on the rise, it’s not widely adopted--yet. It’s a relatively new technology and one that requires lots of knowledge; as companies learn more and more about big data and how to harness it for their specific use, we’ll see an increase in use. But for now, the majority of companies are in the first stages of implementing the tool. 

Did we help bust any myths or misconceptions surrounding data?! We hope so! When used correctly, big data can be a powerful tool that can help your company reach new heights. If you’re ready to join the party and become a big data expert, what are you waiting for?! Check out Ironhack’s bootcamps today.

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Earlier this year, there used to be a waitlist in order to use Bard, but we haven’t encountered any waitlist in recent tries. With that said, if you do end up on the waitlist, don’t worry; in our experience you’ll be granted access in the next 2-3 days. If you don’t meet all the requirements, there’s still a chance you can use Google Bard. Let’s go over solutions in order: If you don’t already have a personal Google account ( where have you been?! ), you can make one right now by clicking this link . If you’re not 18 years or older, then unfortunately you’re out of luck. You can’t use Google Bard with a Google account managed by Family Link or with a Google Workspace for Education account designated as under the age of 18. This is a strict requirement, and they don’t make any exceptions. If you don’t normally use a Chromium-powered browser (or Safari), Google will deny you access to Bard. Like Microsoft with their AI-powered Bing, these companies want you to use their own software to gain access to “experimental” features. Fortunately, browsers are super easy to download and, when in doubt, download Firefox. What is Google Bard? Now that you know how to access Bard, we’re sure the next big question on your mind is: “What does Bard stand for, Google ?” Well, we’re here to answer all questions, no matter how big or small. Google doesn’t usually publicize why it names products the why it does, and this time is no different--but we’ll take a crack at it anyways. A bard is an old English word for a poet or storyteller---someone who creates art with language. Since Google Bard is a generative large language model , the name “Bard” is a play on the fact that this is software that creates responses using natural language. Google Bard vs ChatGPT There’s two big players in the generative language model space: ChatGPT by OpenAI and Bard by Google. But hold up, we know what you’re thinking—what about AI-powered Microsoft Bing? Isn’t that another chatbot that’s super similar to Google Bard? Yes, you’re right, they are similar, but, AI-powered Microsoft Bing actually uses ChatGPT 4.0. Google Bard and ChatGPT have a lot in common: they’re both generative large language models and can be used to do similar things from simple chatbot-like tasks to more complex tasks like generating code. Here’s how the two products match up head-to-head: Bard: Was created by Google Uses the Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMBDA) Sources dataset from Common Crawl, articles, books, Wikipedia, and real-time searches Is free ChatGPT: Was created bv OpenAI Uses the Generative Pre-Trained Transformer (GPT) Model Sources dataset from Common Crawl, articles, books, Wikipedia, and real-time searches (only available on GPT-4, which is paid). GPT-3.5 is free, but users must pay a subscription to use GPT-4 While Bard was released after ChatGPT, Google has a lot of experience with natural language processing from work associated with improving Google Search and Google Assistant. In fact, Google Research invented and open-sourced the neural network architecture that’s used by many language models, including GPT 3.5 and GPT 4. How to Use Google Bard AI Now that we know all about what Google Bard is and where we can access it, we should probably tackle the question, “ Well , how do I use Google Bard ?!” You’re in luck! There’s no right or wrong way to use products like Bard. It’s a language model that’s built to have human-like conversations; if you can give it a task in words, it can probably do it (or at least help you accomplish it yourself). But, we know that’s really broad—it’s probably easier to understand if we split the things that Bard can do into three categories: explanatory, conversational, and creative. We’ll give a brief explanation of each category as well as an example question or task along with a snippet of Bard’s answer. Explanatory : Bard can explain all kinds of things from giving the definition of a word to answering challenging and open-ended questions about life or the universe. Q: “Who painted the Mona Lisa?” A: “The Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo da Vinci, an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who was active as a painter, draftsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor and architect.” Conversational : Bard can engage in a conversation with you on practically any subject. It’ll remember your responses and be able to impress you with how it can handle complex topics thoughtfully. Q: “You are a web developer who was teleported to the 18th century. What's the first thing you would do?” A: “[The] first thing I would do is try to find a way to communicate with people from my own time…” Creative : Bard can create poems, narratives, musical pieces, emails, and even code. Q: “Write a haiku about desert sunsets.” A: “Sunset blazes red, Ashes of day fade to night, Desert sky aglow.” As you can see, Bard can do basically anything you ask of it—but it does have several limitations. Let’s discuss: For starters, Bard does not fact-check itself when giving answers. We cannot overstate this enough: generative AI should never be used as a source of truth . For example, in the “creative” section above, we showed Bard’s answer to the prompt, “Write a haiku about desert sunsets.” In the answer (and feel free to check for yourself), Bard gives us a poem with three lines of 5, then 7, then 5 syllables. This is great! It’s indeed a haiku; however, that was not Bard’s initial answer. This is what we originally received: Sunlight fades to red, The desert sky ablaze with color, A perfect end to day. If you count the syllables in this poem, we have 5, then 9, then 6 syllables in the lines, which is not what we asked for! Ouch, a Google Bard error. Only after we informed Bard that the second and third lines had too many syllables did it come back with a poem in the correct format. Recent Updates As we’ve already mentioned, Bard can do basically anything you ask. Obviously, it’ll do some things better than others—but it’ll always try its best. And, Google is continuously updating Bard so that it’s able to do more things. Here are a few notable changes: Bard can now generate code in languages such as C++, Go, Java, and Python When generating Python code, you’re able to export the code directly to Google Colab Bard can export content directly to Google Docs and Gmail Bard can cite sources directly in the response Bard can display images What’s Next? Bard is Google’s most recent product release and we think it’s also one of the coolest project’s in the company’s history. Google has been working on generative large language models for decades now, and it’s great to finally see and interact with a product that’s the culmination of so much time, effort, and care. If you’re interested in working in the tech industry and creating awesome products that help make the world a better place, then we think you would be a perfect fit for one of Ironhack’s bootcamps. We offer bootcamps for just about every role in tech, and there’s never been a better time to join the industry. Want to learn how to make the most of ChatGPT, Google Bard, or other generative language models? We can’t wait to see you in class!

  • 10 Best Tech Companies To Work For And Why

    Ironhack - 2022-02-04

    Careers

    Global

    [This article was updated for 2022.] It's a dream for many people to work in a renowned tech company. Thousands of tech enthusiasts seek to get their foot in these companies as they are known to offer excellent perks and professional growth opportunities. Equally, their reach attracts talent from different parts of the world. You don’t need a full Computer Science degree to get hired by these companies, though. Bootcamp alumni have a unique combination of skills and assets and the value they bring into the workplace increases exponentially for years– which is why companies are now turning their attention towards bootcamps. While tech companies have very different products and look for a variety of profiles, some paths in technology and computer science are growing in demand . Let’s look at some of the top tech companies that invest in talent in the competitive tech world. 1. HubSpot Renowned among digital marketing companies, HubSpot offers a wholesome platform of sales, marketing, customer service, and CRM software to cater to small and large businesses alike. HubSpot values its employees' input the same way they value their customers. Many employees express the company's willingness to assist and work with skilled people while also providing opportunities for career growth. If you can comfortably work under strict deadlines and high expectations, HubSpot is an excellent organization to help you achieve your career goals. Great for: startup-lovers with an interest or experience in digital marketing. 2. NVIDIA All employees who show dedication and hard work to advance their careers in tech will receive abundant rewards securing employment at NVIDIA. Influencing changes in the tech world and working on trailblazing technology are some of the reasons most people desire to work at NVIDIA. Plus, most employees enjoy the work environment and the organization’s strong emphasis on performing tasks as a team. At NVIDIA, you may need to put in some extra hours, especially when you join the company and seek to advance. There’s high competition, and it therefore helps when you show initiative and commitment in the respective roles. Great for: lovers of all things visual, especially in the gaming and CGI spaces . 3. Salesforce Companies like Salesforce provide businesses with marketing tools and customer management strategies. Employees appreciate its culture of excellent benefits, programs, and events that make their contributions valued. The only downside is that programs and events don't always make employees feel valued. Some employees complain of long work hours regardless of position within the company. Great for: data-nerds, who believe in empowering teams through data and smoother workflows . 4. DocuSign While there are emerging competitors in the market, DocuSign is a trusted company that allows you to sign documents electronically. DocuSign have a notable competitive edge since they manage to offer benefits to employees. More employees appreciate the positive morale and work/balance that’s the foundation of the company's culture. With a high Glassdoor rating, the company invests in all its employees to succeed long term. However, some employees state that DocuSign has a confusing onboarding process where management makes hasty changes. Great for: people who highly value a company that invests and believes in its employees. 5. Shopify Shopify is a dedicated company that helps businesses sell multiple products online. It has a good Glassdoor rating compared to other tech companies as a loyal employer. Overall, the company has a commendable employee culture, and they provide good benefits and promote employee events. Even so, some employees feel the company needs to value their input and involve them more in decision-making. Great for: those looking to break into the exciting world of eCommerce, it doesn’t get better than Shopify! 6. Google Google is the most sought-after firm by jobseekers. The search company continues to excel in providing better employee benefits. Working in a tech giant like Google gives you a chance to interact with the brightest talent pool in the world. And to stand apart from the competitors, Google offers attractive benefits to employees that most companies won't match owing to their vast budget. The only challenge of working at Google is having incredibly high expectations concerning loyalty and performance. Other challenges include the unfair competitive hierarchy that limits advancement potential. Great for: impact-chasers who want the work they do to improve the lives of millions (literally!) . 7. Facebook/Meta As the leading social media company, Facebook/Meta aims to create a healthy work environment by treating its employees as assets. Aside from having a superior facility design, the organization has attractive perks for its employees—from 401 contributions to pizza parties. That said, you might have to sacrifice your time as most company positions entail long working hours and a competitive atmosphere. Great for: problem-solvers and future-thinkers, who aren’t afraid to tackle world-changing topics like data use and the future of the Metaverse . 8. LinkedIn LinkedIn has become a valuable tool to connect colleagues professionally, providing businesses with a unique social media podium. The company is making great strides in keeping employees valued and appreciated with a commendable rating. LinkedIn is the best company in the tech world due to its leadership role. Plus, employees state that the company promotes a healthy work culture. Additionally, employees receive many attractive benefits and team-building events that foster teamwork. Great for: anyone passionate about building the future of work, in all of its new forms! 9. Adobe Adobe is famous for its collaborative design interface that allows for superb graphics. The company treats its staff well. The organization offers competitive benefits and focuses on cultivating a healthy work culture based on rewarding commitment and loyalty. However, some employees feel that the company has a lot of bureaucracy that hinders meaningful progress. Advancement openings seem to target the selected few, and employees can sometimes feel like they’re stuck in one position for an extended period. Great for: creatives and visionaries who get excited about what people can make when you hand them the right tools . 10. Microsoft Working for Microsoft is a great achievement as the tech firm is renowned worldwide. It creates most of the computer operating systems that exist today. Microsoft stays dedicated to manufacturing innovative products to solve the industry’s pain points. Employee retention is essential to maintain that edge, where the comprehensive benefits package fosters innovation. Employees also enjoy working in a competitive environment with the most skilled personnel globally. Great for: anyone with a deep love of tech, and the impact this tech giant has had on the industry– and anyone who is even more excited about the future it could build… How To Land Your First Tech Job Working for a prominent company is an achievable, yet challenging goal, if you’re trying to break into the tech industry. But you can land a job in tech even if you’re new to the field. Multiply your odds by getting an education that will help shape your profile into one that tech recruiters are looking for. Bootcamps are about so much more than just learning the core technical skills you need; they show that you’re a dedicated, self-motivated learner with a diverse professional background, which is precisely what tech industry hiring managers are looking for. Piqued your interest? Take a look at our Bootcamps and kickstart your career in tech!

  • 5 minutes

    How to Begin a Career in Cybersecurity Without Previous Knowledge

    Ironhack - 2021-05-04

    Cybersecurity

    We’ve all felt the effects of when companies don’t make cybersecurity a priority. You might even have had to bear the brunt when companies don’t invest in their cybersecurity yourself: personal data gets leaked, sensitive information is spread across the web, and life savings can be lost if you give the wrong company your bank details. You’re probably sick of this happening and we get it. That’s why it’s time to become a cyber warrior and kickstart your career in cybersecurity – even if you don’t have any previous knowledge. Cybersecurity may seem complicated to those on the outside, mostly because it comes with a dictionary’s worth of jargon. But anyone with a little technical knowledge and the desire to learn can launch themselves into this exciting career path. But that begs the question…how do you go about getting a cybersecurity job when you’ve got no experience? Before we answer that burning question, let’s first break down exactly what cybersecurity is. What is Cybersecurity? First things first: let’s truly understand what cybersecurity is, as it’s never been more important than it is today. With many companies shifting to a remote/hybrid working model and the vast expansion of the online space, there is an increasing need for businesses to invest in IT security and protect themselves from threats such as hacking, data compromise, and identity theft. Technology is getting smarter, but that means that hackers and cybercriminals are too. The range of cybercrimes is widening rapidly, but some of the most common are: Cyber-extortion : demanding money in exchange for not hacking, damaging, or deleting information Ransomware attacks : locking or limiting access to data in exchange for money Identity fraud : pretending to be you to gain access to your personal information IOT hacking : accessing or manipulating IoT devices and servers Malware : software designed to steal or copy a person’s information Phishing scams : sending fraudulent emails, pretending to be someone else to gain bank or personal information What Does a Career Path in Cybersecurity Look Like? With a growing demand for trained professionals, the cybersecurity industry has a lot to offer prospective employees. Salaries in this field tend to be lucrative and there is ample opportunity for career growth and development. The demand for roles in this area is also set to increase rapidly over the coming years and decades . As such, there has never been a better time to explore cybersecurity and explore the various career options out there for cybersecurity newcomers. There are many areas for specialization and advancement which you’ll be able to branch into, depending on your skills, experience, and career goals. And as the digital world is always changing, new areas that we can’t even imagine today will inevitably reveal themselves! Take a look at some positions, depending on your experience level: Entry-level positions include roles such as Cybersecurity Specialist or Technician, IT auditor, and Incident Responder (anyone interested in cybersecurity for beginners should research these roles as a starting point!) Mid-level positions include Cybersecurity Consultant and Penetration tester Advanced level positions include Cybersecurity Engineer and Managerial positions There are various roles available at each level when it comes to IT security, with plenty of scope for development further down the road; the demand for training in cybersecurity is rapidly on the rise, meaning you may like to branch into this area in a company for which you already work, or that you are looking to pivot completely into a new career. What Does it Take to Break into Cybersecurity? The first thing you need to tackle when it comes to cybersecurity is the basics of IT systems and networks ; for example, the different types of available networks and their protocols. Once you are familiar with the fundamentals, you can dive into the basics of networking traffic, security, and communication principles. Learning how to create and analyze network servers is also important when it comes to cybersecurity for beginners, while data decryption and encryption are also useful, along with topics such as backup processes and data recovery. Discovering how to prevent hacks is also a crucial subject when it comes to cybersecurity for beginners. As technology advances and the online space grows, there are greater opportunities for cyber attacks and hacks to occur, especially when it comes to mobile payments, e-commerce, and cloud computing. Machine learning, social media, and the vast array of apps that many of us use on a daily basis make it easier for criminals to find ways to hack systems to steal data and financial information. The risk for businesses is especially high and this is where cybersecurity professionals come into play : building and maintaining secure systems is essential for most organizations and businesses in the modern world, and expertise in this area is heavily in demand. Breaking into cybersecurity through a bootcamp Courses or bootcamps in cybersecurity for beginners will prepare you for roles such as incident responder, forensics analyst, and cybersecurity analyst, among others. Over time and depending on the size of the company you work for, you may have the chance to branch into a management role, taking control over a cybersecurity team. Similarly, you may choose to specialize in a single area of cybersecurity in networking, software development, systems engineering, or risk analysis. Breaking into cybersecurity with no previous experience Cybersecurity is an exciting and ever-changing career path, with high stakes and high rewards. The demand for professionals in this field is extremely high; there are many opportunities available for anyone interested in developing a career in IT security. But, as with any job, getting started can feel like a huge wall to climb if you don’t have any previous experience. But don’t worry: regardless of your background and previous experience, transitioning to a job in cybersecurity is very achievable with some foundational training, thanks to the recent rise of cybersecurity. The best place to start is with a cybersecurity bootcamp for beginners that covers the basics and the main areas of IT security and data protection. With Ironhack's Cybersecurity Bootcamp, you don’t only get the foundational knowledge and hands-on experience that you need to succeed in your first cybersecurity role; but we’ll actually support you in finding that role. Our Careers Services and Outcomes Team are rockstars at getting you job-ready, helping you figure out the messy middle of job hunting. Why not check it out for yourself?!

  • Data Analytics Is Changing The World - Here’s Why You Should Care

    Marta Aguilar - 2023-07-05

    Data Analytics

    All Courses

    People who love data really love data. But if you’re someone who always hated math class as a kid, it can be really hard to understand where they’re coming from. How does a bunch of numbers get anyone’s blood pumping? Spoiler alert: data is the undercurrent of pretty much everything we do online. Every time you check the weather, see a movie or show recommendations, track a run on your smartwatch, or book a hotel for your next vacation, data is behind it all. If you’re here, you’re probably curious about data and its various uses. In this article, we’re going to be looking at the biggest impacts that data has on our world and the #1 reason why you should fall completely in love with it. Data Creates the Perfect User Experience This is one data innovation that you’re probably aware of already, as it’s one that fits seamlessly into our day to day lives. But because it’s so seamless, you may be taking it for granted (that’s actually a sign of truly great innovation–you don’t even notice that it’s happening!). So let’s take a second to really appreciate the magnitude of the impact that data has on our cultural tastes. If you’ve used Spotify/Apple Music to find your new favorite to sing on long road trips, the album that’ll get you through your next heartbreak, and the band that you’ll someday travel halfway across the country to see live in concert, you’ve got data to thank for it. Spotify has invested heavily in training machine learning algorithms to personalize the experience for its 406 million global users. That’s a huge impact. But this isn’t just limited to music. Streaming services use huge amounts of customer data to test, personalize experiences, and make big business decisions. Netflix is particularly famous for this, running constant A/B tests to provide users with the best possible experience–and to keep us all binging and chilling. Let’s say you love Ryan Reynolds and you’ve watched a lot of his movies. Netflix knows that little nugget of data about you and will make sure that any movie with Ryan Reynolds features him prominently in the preview, thus encouraging you to watch. Companies like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, and HBO don’t just use data to build their platform’s user experience. They take the usage data from their streaming services to make important production decisions, looking at things like content abandonment rates, keyword searches, and even which scenes were rewound and rewatched. This information is then used to influence which shows get made or canceled. With the shows created by these streaming/production companies sitting at the forefront of the cultural zeitgeist, big data truly is a global tastemaker! Data is Saving the Planet Data doesn’t just tell Netflix whether to bring Squid Games back for Season 2. It’s also being used in new ways in sustainability and wildlife conservation: GPS tagging and camera traps are able to collect real-time information on the movements of some of the world’s most critically endangered animals, empowering conservation groups with the information needed to potentially save the species. Data scientists are able to track migration, population growth/decline, and identify risks that may threaten an endangered species. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior uncovered a problem in the early 2000s whilst attempting to track animal movements in Panama. The thick canopy of the trees could not be penetrated by GPS signal, so they set up a series of radio towers that would allow them to collect the data they needed, but soon found that the sheer amount of information received would overwhelm their current systems. They created Movebank , a software that could safely store and manage real-time global animal movement data. Today, researchers around the world rely on Movebank to provide answers to big-picture questions in conservation science, with over 3.2 billion animal locations leading to almost 7,000 research studies. From monitoring the speed at which polar ice caps melt to the areas most at-risk from illegal poachers, data helps us to understand the state of our world and may provide the insights that help us to save it. Data Helps Save Lives Ever since the world went digital, big data has been used by the medical industry to improve research and patient outcomes. But it has historically been expensive, slow, and inaccessible for non-data experts. Data impacts the medical field in three different ways: Medical research: data is used to help researchers in labs, leading to breakthroughs in how we understand and treat diseases. Hospital operations : hospitals use data much like any other businesses do to monitor staffing, supplies, waiting room time, and insurance claim data. Patient outcomes : data can be used to improve the treatment of individual patients, as well as answering big-picture questions. One of the biggest game changers in recent years for data in medicine was the boom of wearable tech. Patients are able to have their heart rate constantly monitored in a way that doesn't feel annoying or intrusive and medical providers are able to collect a huge amount of data on their day-to-day heart health. By collecting huge amounts of data and gaining a holistic view of a patient’s (or group of patient’s) health, medical professionals are able to give recommendations for preventive care and stop diseases. For example, a doctor who notices that many patients who have sedentary jobs and concerning VO2 max levels can recommend introducing more cardio into their exercise routines. However, this kind of information is highly sensitive and healthcare institutions are rapidly understanding the need for heightened data security. In-house data solutions must be bolstered by top-notch security protocols, including two-factor authentication and routine audits. The ethics of how this data is stored and shared is also a hot topic that the industry constantly grapples with, leaving a need for data experts to guide this ongoing conversation. Data Runs the Business World The old saying goes money makes the world go round . While there’s certainly still plenty of truth to that, what really makes the world go round (namely the business world!) is data . There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to list all of the ways that companies in every corner of the world rely on data and each company has their own unique data sets. But we can of course make a few sweeping generalizations: Customer demographics inform marketing and advertising decisions Product usage data informs UI decisions and helps teams build better digital experiences Big data helps Big Tech launch new features, improve existing products, and launch entirely new innovations Data helps entrepreneurs identify problems to solve and needs to fill Because the business world loves cliches, we’ve got another for you. “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion,” said W. Edwards Deming in 1982, and it’s still true today. As a professional in any industry, you need data to make the right decisions and get people to back your ideas. It’s the closest thing to the objective truth as we can get and you’ll need it on your side, no matter which capacity you’re working in. Let’s say you’re a UI designer and you’re fighting with an important stakeholder over how big the logo needs to be on the first fold of your homepage. If that stakeholder is the CEO, their authority trumps yours. So you bring out the big guns…results of an A/B test which shows that your version of the homepage design works better within the overall user journey. Alternatively, let’s say you’re in advertising. You and your team have been asked to run a summer campaign for an important client and no one can quite agree on which direction to go in. You need a quick win to turn around a slow quarter, so you go back and look at which previous campaigns knocked it out of the park. You use the data to design a fantastic campaign and convince the rest of the team that it’s the right way to go. While data has often been attributed to the tech industry and giant corporations, there’s actually no limits to who data can help. Data Analytics is an Exciting and Stable Career Path Exciting and stable aren’t usually two words that go together but they’re absolutely the right ones to describe a career in data. A career in data is exciting because data is being used in new ways every da y; the smallest pockets of information are capable of unleashing insights that can change the world. Companies can use data to impact the lives of millions, from saving rare species from extinction to creating breakthroughs in medical science. A career in data is also stable, because data isn’t going anywhere anytime soon . Every single company, even those outside of the tech industry, rely on data every day and there’s no shortage of need for professionals who know how to manage and analyze it. Data is also global, not restricted to any one corner of the world. No matter where you are, there will be a need, a use, and a demand for data. Even if you’re not looking to work specifically as a Data Scientist or Data Analyst, chances are data can be helpful in your day to day work. And maybe the data sets you use won’t change the world on their own, but you’ll be future-proofing your skill set and opening up brand new career doors. You might not change the world, but you can change your world. If you’re interested in diving into the data world, we’d be happy to have you at Ironhack! Our Data Analytics Bootcamp is designed to teach you what you need to know to enter the workforce as a data professional. Check out the course information today and let us know if you have any questions–we can’t wait to see your application!

  • 5 minutes

    What Does a Career in Web3 Look Like?

    Ironhack - 2022-11-11

    Careers

    The internet is evolving, and fast. On the web as we currently know it, information is stored on servers, which we can read on our computers. Today, we're moving towards a new type of internet called Web3; where data is decentralized and stored in many different places. From small startups to tech giants, a growing number of companies are investing in Web3, blockchain, and cryptocurrency — and are looking to hire skilled professionals to drive these exciting new technologies forward. But what does a career in Web3 actually entail? And how do you get started? In this blog post, we’ll explore what a career in Web3 really looks like: From what kind of jobs are available, to the skills you need to break into this emerging and innovative field. Let’s dive in! H2: What Kind of Jobs Are There in Web3? Web3 is an emerging space, with the scope for some really exciting and specialized roles in the future. But there are also multiple well-established entry-level Web3 roles; which include tech disciplines like software engineering, web development, community management, data analytics, and design. To give you a sense of what’s out there, we’ve pulled some examples of existing roles from a Web3 job board . Backend engineer @ Kodex UX/UI product designer @ Obol Data Analyst @ P2P.org What Kind of Companies Are Investing in Web3? The next generation of internet technology is happening right now. New, innovative companies are populating the space to create pioneering products and services that will change how we interact with the web. According to 101 Blockchain , the The web3 market could reach a total value of almost $81.5 billion by 2030 — making it a lucrative investment for companies across multiple industries, including finance , healthcare , and government services . Web3 companies are mostly startups, but there are also blockchain projects within larger companies (such as IBM and Twitter ). Most of these companies are working on infrastructure or tools for decentralized systems like Ethereum. Some examples of web3-specific companies include: ConsenSys ; a company offering consulting services, as well as development teams, focused on building applications on Ethereum's platform; and Melonport ; a Swiss startup who aim to create an autonomous community where individuals can manage their digital assets without intermediaries. Among the growing number of companies foraying into Web3 are tech giants like Twitter and Instagram , as well as FinTech companies in the crypto currency space (like PayPal and Alchamy ). Is Web3 Hard to Get Into? As a newcomer to Web3, you’ll be joining thousands of talented professionals seeking to help shape this new technological landscape. But before you do, you might be wondering how hard it is to break into the space. So, is Web3 hard to get into? Well, yes and no. As a new space, there are far fewer ‘guarantees’ than you’ll find in other digital discplines. It’s still unclear what long-term career progression looks like in Web3, as the workforce is technically still being formed. As so many Web3 and blockchain products are still being built, the baseline requirements for entry-level Web3 professionals can vary massively depending on the industry. On the plus side, joining Web3 as one of the early professional cohorts makes the Web3 job market a lot less competitive than other tech disciplines. You’ll be up against fewer candidates for Web3 roles, which means a higher chance of finding a job quickly and more leverage to negotiate a higher salary. Learning Web3 skills also demonstrates a commitment to staking your claim in this rapidly-growing space — which is bound to give you the edge you need when it comes to landing your first role. What Skills Will Web3 Professionals Need? Web3 is a complex and multidiscplinary field which requires a lot of problem-solving and analytics. Entry-level Web3 professionals are expected to be proficient in a wide range of technical skills, including: Front-end development. This includes frontend programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript — as well as object-oriented programming, DOM manipulation, version control, and ReactJS. Back-end technologies. You’ll need to know how to create a MERN stack application, set up a NoSQL server, and use ExpressJS, NodeJS to create and deploy robust applications. Blockchain and cryptography. Web3 professionals need to be well-versed in the blockchain trilemma and how hash functions, digital signatures and proof of work and proof of stake consensus mechanisms function in practice. Etherium, smart contracts, and token standards. You’ll a working knowledge of smart contract development, Solidity and the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) through writing and testing smart contracts. Decentralized applications (dApp) development and tooling . Understanding how to develop and deploy dApps using front-end libraries such as ethers.js and web3.js. For complete beginners, this list might seem overwhelming — and even intimidating. Worry not! Beginner-friendly courses like IronHack’s soon to be launched Web3 bootcamp will see you learn all the skills needed to forge a career in Web3 — as well as benefitting from tailored career support to help you land your first role. Sign up now to be the first to hear when spaces are available! What Makes a Good Career? Web3 isn’t just a hyped-up buzzword: It’s already a well-established space with limitless potential to transform the way we use the web, forever. With a growing number of big tech companies recognizing the value of Web3, it’s safe to say the field is here to stay — and the demand for forward-thinking Web3 professionals is only set to climb. Web3 might be fertile ground for a new career opportunities, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right career path for you. High salaries, remote work, interesting projects, a future-proofed career, and other compelling factors might all sound good on paper — but in order to do the job day in day out, you need to feel passionate about the work. In the absence of a crystal ball, you might be wondering how to figure out what career path is right for you. We’ve come up with a resource to help you along your way, with our Career Vision Planner . Check it out!

  • Learn the basics of data analytics: Intro to SQL

    Ironhack - 2021-07-26

    Data Analytics

    All Courses

    Data is all around us, and it's kind of crazy to imagine what it must have been like to store it all manually in filing cabinets before the digital age came in to make it all easier for us. Luckily, now we have databases (YAY!), but wait, how do we pull the information we need or want from these databases with as little fuss as possible? Drumroll, please… Enter, SQL! But before we dive into SQL and why it's handy... What is Data Analytics? Data analytics is growing more and more in popularity as more businesses move to gathering and storing all their data online, so it's a pretty big deal, especially in the world of business, or governance etc. As you are most probably aware, data is being collected all the time, yet in its raw form, this data will leave you scratching your head because it won't make sense. This is where data analytics comes in: it allows companies to pull out, edit and add specific data they are searching for . This helps such companies or organisations to draw insights and make the most informed decisions for their next strategic move. Data analysts are much sought after because they are able to organise and categorise this data to make it interpretable and therefore usable, and they speak SQL. Btw in case you were wondering, data analysis and data science are two different fields . Data science is more multidisciplinary as it combines statistics, scientific methods, artificial intelligence (AI) and more to extract value from data. Plus they use a range of tools like  smartphones, sensors, websites and more to interpret data. How is data analysis used in the real world? Generally speaking, data analysis can be used infinitely depending on what information is being looked for, yet more specifically, it's used to make better, faster and business decisions to reduce overall business costs and develop new and innovative products and services. For example, it could predict future sales or purchasing behaviours, security purposes as it helps to protect against fraud, analyse the effectiveness of marketing campaigns or increase supply chain efficiency. First steps into SQL: What is it and what is it for? SQL stands for Structured Query Language and is pronounced as Sequel. This is the language used in data analysis to communicate with data ! Three key things to know about SQL Suppose you're in sales, marketing, business etc. SQL is probably the one coding language you should learn as most companies have an online presence and are collecting data. So the more you know how to communicate this data, the better you can pull and analyse and the better you are at your job! If this is you, you can pop into our webinar to learn the basics of Data Analytics ! SQL languages have syntax variations . Different companies follow different databases sets, they are only slight variations, but it is essential to be aware of them. SQL only communicates with relational databases . So any database with a tabular organisation (with rows and columns). This leads us to our next point. SQL and RDBMS RDBMS stands for Relational Database Management System. This drastically helps to organise data so that it can easily be extracted and analysed. Let us break it down even further so you really know what it means. It's a system that manages data organised in tables and the relations between them. Let's break it down again. When we talk about systems we mean RDBMS can store many different kinds of data for many different kinds of applications in one place .  For example, if we are talking about a sale, there is a table or dataset for the sale information, one for customer information and the other for the sales item or inventory; therefore, there is a relation between these data sets. Key benefits of RDBMS: System : can store many styles of data for multiple applications Manager : stores, indexes, keep safes, backups Data : all data can be stored but mostly numbers and strings Tables : organised in columns and rows Relationation : patterns between different values in columns and tables are linked together. So, why RDBMS? Because it’s an effective and reliable way to store information as the basis for online transaction processing systems, and these are systems that keep businesses running. RDBMS are applied in corporate administration and accounting, banking and insurance systems, government data, point of service (POS) and E-commerce systems, and the list goes on. And of course, all the data gathered in these systems are used in the analytics environment to generate insights, but you first need to access such data. And how do we do that?...Through SQL, which speaks to RDBMS! Some key terms in SQL A SQL query allows you to query (investigate) a specific piece of information. Tables Tables are the database objects that hold the data in the relational databases . SQL can be applied to programs like Python or even a simple excel spreadsheet. In SQL lingo, a Column is a field, and a Row is a record, and finally, there is an entity that is the smallest unit that contains a meaningful set of data. An entity is also known as the dataset object . With SQL, the best way to learn is by giving it a go! Yet, here are some quick terms to get you familiar with the lingo. Select, from and where If you are looking to query something, the term "select" always comes first and is eventually followed by "from" . The "where" term allows you to filter out rows that you do now want to have in your search results. Here is a quick example of what it could look like if we were to be using a student database: Select: “*’” or the specific field eg. (student_name_dateofbirth) From: (table name) e.g Student Where: date of birth = (select max ( date of birth) from student) By the way, aside from the equal "=" sign you can use does not equal to "<>" or is greater than "<" ; the list goes on, and you change this based on what you are looking for. When you want to merge two or more tables or datasets, you can use the "join" statement that puts two different tables together side by side based on a shared value; the term joins usually appears after from but before the where statement. For example; From table_1 join table_2 Union Finally, we will mention one more! The “union” term matches columns from top to bottom . This union statement usually sits between two select statements . The union can only occur on columns with the exact same column names and columns that have the same data type. To continue learning more about the basics of Data Analytics and SQL , watch our webinar below: powered by Crowdcast All in all, getting into data analytics can be super interesting and satisfying once you get the hang of it, it's like going on treasure hunts! And if you’re really interested in becoming a serious data analyst pro, want to build your career or seriously widen your job prospects look no further than our insightful Data Analytics Bootcamp!

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