I've been asked by several folks recently what they need to learn to succeed in data mining and predictive analytics.
Abbott Analytics Blog, Dean Abbott, June 13, 2011.
I've been asked by several folks recently what they need to learn to succeed in data mining and predictive analytics. This is a different twist on the question I also get, namely what degree should one get to be a good (albeit "green") data miner. Usually, the latter question gets the answer "it doesn't matter" because I know so many great data miners without a statistics or mathematics degree. Understandably, there are many non-stats/math degrees that have a very strong statistics or mathematics component, such as psychology, political science, and engineering to name a few. But then again, you don't necessarily have to load up on the stats/math courses in these disciplines either.
So the question of "what to learn" applies across majors whether undergraduate or graduate. Of course statistics and machine learning courses are directly applicable. However, the answer I've been giving recently to the question what do new data miners need to learn (assuming they will learn algorithms) have centered around two other topics: databases and business.
Gregory PS: See also an excellent discussion on Quora