Hal Varian, the chief economist at Google, likes to say that “the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians.” I’ve seen this quote in a few different places, and he always follows up by saying something like “I’m not kidding.” And he’s not. I’m inclined to believe him. The stat stars are aligning: reams of valuable data, expansive visualization tools, and genuinely meaningful results.
In fact, I already know of at least one statistician rock star: Hans Rosling. He’s been working for years in health and economic development in poor countries. Trained as both a doctor and a statistician, he now runs something called the Gapminder Foundation in Sweden. In recent years, he has come to fame because of his dynamic charts and his dynamic speaking style at various TED talks. This is a man who is vibrating with energy and enthusiasm for his message. Take a look. Here’s a video that was forwarded to me (thanks Mom!).