By Hannah Nicolay – Dr. Neil Ericsson, a research professor of Economics at The George Washington University and principal economist at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington D.C., delivered the keynote speech at the annual Everett P. Truex Economic & Financial Forum. This forum was established by Everett Truex to assemble top thinkers in a conversation about economic and financial issues. This forum has brought many influential people in the world of economics and finance and on October 27th, 2016 another distinguished name was added to that list. Dr. Neil Ericsson lectured on big data, how it is used, who uses it, and its strengths and weaknesses. Over 300 students, faculty, alumni and college leaders were in attendance
Big data is a part of everyone’s lives. Whether we know what big data is or care to know, it is a part of everything we do. If we pay attention and use big data it can help us with a variety of tasks, such as understanding the world around us, understanding society, and helping make decisions. Big data is used by governments, not-for-profit organizations, the private sector, the sciences, and individuals. Each of these groups uses big data in a variety of ways that allows them to understand the world, society, and help make decisions. Like most everything else, big data has advantages and disadvantages. It allows for precise results of data, but how accurate are the precise results? The numbers produced speak for themselves in their truthfulness, but who interprets the data and relays it on? Even with its pros and cons, big data is becoming more and more popular. Because it is a part of everyone’s lives, many career opportunities will come from big data. A background in economics or statistics is not necessary to find a career dealing with big data. All a person needs is critical thinking and the drive to understand.
Dr. Ericsson has published more than 70 papers on empirical economic modeling, econometrics and forecasting, and has edited three books. He has taught courses on economic modeling and forecasting at universities, central banks and international organizations, and has consulted at the World Bank.