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NC prepares for tech tsunami

February 16, 2017

Leadership in the data economy should be a target for the state of North Carolina, according to a new report by the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology and Innovation (BSTI). As more economic value is placed on the ability to successfully collect and manipulate data for insight and profit, the state needs to focus on closer collaboration, proactive branding and a greater focus on data science education and talent development, according to the report, NC in the Next Tech Tsunami: Navigating the Data Economy.

Fast growth, high wages, the need for talent, improved rural economics and more competitive industries are all cited as top reasons for the state to target the data economy. The report identifies state assets in the data economy such as companies like SAS and Red Hat headquartered in the state, programs at the state’s public and private universities, and a vibrant entrepreneurial environment, among other things.

To become a top state in the data economy, the report recommends that the state should:

  • Elevate the data economy to the top tier of economic development priorities;
  • Grow and support the data science startup ecosystem across the state, and promote it nationally;
  • Create a pipeline of data science education and data literacy;
  • Position North Carolina as the “open data” state; and,
  • Support world-class data science research in North Carolina.

In a prepared statement, NC Secretary of Commerce Anthony M. Copeland commented that the data economy could generate new high-paying jobs throughout the state. “We must ensure we have the educational and economic ecosystems in place to support these new jobs because diverse industries like manufacturing, agriculture, and healthcare all will require more sophisticated data skills from their employees,” he said.

North Carolinabig data