Research
Statistics, and the proper application thereof, are integral to all other fields of human advancement. Only with properly collected information that is made meaningful and interpretable can conclusions about our actions be drawn. In his piece "Statistics: The Next Generation", Miron L. Straf puts it this way.

"New technologies benefit our lies in many ways, but they can also bring increased risks, disruptions to our society, and even the malevolence of war. Statisticians can play a critical role in influencing the paths along which technology will take our society. But taking on this role requires changing our discipline, our profession, and our ASA. Change, however, is not an option; if we do not change, then technology may force change on us in detrimental ways.  Understanding how to change requires a broader view of statistics as a human activity with a human purpose that must evolve within sa social, or human, system. Considered as a technology, statistics is a fundamental and invaluable part of the infrastructure of other sciences. Statistics advances discoveries in other sciences. Universities and foundations must encourage interdisciplinary research as a primary contribution to our field. "
-Miron L. Straf

As time progresses, increasingly sophisticated methods of collecting data, such as online survey, social media, and data mining will only increase the importance of statistics in managing, compiling and ultimately making sense of incredible amounts of data. Industry has responded to the great oppurtinity in this type of statistics and many companies are innovating in the field of software to help statisticians take control of big data. Understanding this data will help firms understand their customers better, which as Joseph Kovar explains in his piece "Big Data Is the Next Big Thing", has allowed companies like Zynga to "use analytic tools to understand customers to the point where it could sell a virtual hammer for more than The Home Depot charges for a real hammer."

References
Straf, Miron L. "Statistics: The Next Generation." Journal of the American Statistical Association 98.461 (2003): 1-7. ProQuest.Web. 4 Dec. 2013.
Kovar, Joseph F. "Big Data is the Next Big Thing." CRN.1320 (2012): 12,n/a. ProQuest. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.