Go west? Big data fits nicely right here

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By Lee Schafer, Star Tribune

Fair Isaac Corp., the company known as FICO, recently described its motivation in moving its headquarters from Minnesota to San Jose, Calif., as a desire to get closer to the technical talent base of what is called big data.

But is it really necessary to move to the heart of Silicon Valley to participate in this white-hot field?

“When I saw [FICO’s announcement], I thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,'” said Dan Atkins, an Edina consultant and a leader of the nonprofit group MinneAnalytics. Atkins acknowledges that Silicon Valley has an edge in venture-capital-backed start-ups, but said “if you are talking about data science and technical skill and business culture, it’s not really competition.”

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