It used to be that employers needed people to calculate; they no longer need this. What they need is people who think and reason.
My wife, math and science teacher at Geneva School of Boerne, continually reminds our family that "math is everywhere." This is a profound statement and one that applies to any business of any size. The beauty of mathematics in business and its impact on the daily operations of a business is more important today than ever before. With the overwhelming amount of data gathered and the almost unlimited options for marketing, how does data translate to decisions?
I just finished reading Stanford University Professor Dr. Jo Boaler's book Mathematical Mindsets. She cites Conrad Wolfram's TED Talk, watched by over one million people, where he proposes that mathematics in business has four stages.
- Posing a question.
- Going from the real world to a mathematical model.
- Performing a calculation.
- Going from the model back to the real world, to see if the original question was answered.
Conrad says, "The fastest growing job in the United States is that of data analyst - someone who looks at the big data and asks important questions of that data. What employers need is people who can ask good questions, set up models, analyze results, and interpret mathematical answers."
Discernment and wisdom are more valued than ever. In 1970 when Fortune 500 companies were asked what they valued most in new employees, the top answers were writing, computational skills, and reading skills. Fast forward to today - those same companies now list teamwork and problem solving as their top valued skills.
In conclusion, fast calculations are now fully automated and with one click of the mouse, we can print out any report we desire.
What is seen as valuable now are powerful thinkers and consulting firms who make connections, think logically, and use space, data, and numbers to creatively work with a team to improve a company's culture and bottom line.
If your business is considering what "next steps" are necessary for growth or if you've hit a wall with your current team, I invite you to visit with us.
Author: Joshua D. Cates, Founder of Ten Peaks Media
Source: Mathematical Mindsets by Dr. Jo Boaler.