sparkbeat-logoBig data can be useful, intimidating, controversial, scary or revolutionary, but no matter how you look at it, it’s here to stay — in a big way.

According to LinkedIn’s blog, statistical analysis and data mining were the top skills that got job seekers hired in 2014.

Universities like Arizona State and NYU are responding to the increasing demand for data scientists by offering new programs focused on big data and business analytics.

We’ll be in Toronto this week for the Big Data & Analytics Summit Canada to find out what trends, tools and ideas will be shaping the world of big data in 2015.

Industry leaders from Mozilla, Samsung, IBM and Oracle, among others, will discuss topics ranging from customer service, product development and social media to data visualization, predictive analytics and privacy.

Follow us on Twitter as we live-tweet the event, or else stay tuned for our roundup of lessons and takeaways from speakers.

Last but not least, if you’re thinking of heading to the event, register using the promo code SPARK20 for a 20 percent discount.