Have you ever thought about the credit card company that offers you loyalty bonus features and spending limits that directly map to your lifestyle or the mobile phone company that proposes a free GB data uses the package as against local phone calls as that’s where your maximum uses is?
Such data and inferences are the results of skilled analytics experts doing number and data crunching, and creating actionable business insights. Insights leading to a Business Decision.
Every corporate function in just about every industry benefits from the insights research and analytics yields- not just marketing functions. Companies with winning formulae know that the right analytics framework enables them to gather, synthesize and extract data-based insights and the much needed competitive edge.
It has been identified that data analytics as a key growth driver for India’s Business Process Management [BPM] industry. This is where India can stand up and solidify its status as the global data analytics leader. We already have a sizeable talent pool of science and mathematics graduates in a prime position to be trained to become data analytics. The analytics talent building effort has three big components. The first is driving awareness in the job market for career opportunities with expertise in analytics. Second, any companies looking for data analysts and data scientists need to clearly craft roles and career paths that can act as a draw for these highly skilled professionals. And last, but by no means least- educational institutions have to create and offer programs that are directly aimed at honing the key skills in demand.
First, data science is a relatively new discipline, and awareness around the career opportunities on offer is still limited. This is a profession that calls for a mix of mathematical and statistical knowledge with computer skills. Indians have traditionally been known for their mathematical prowess, but when forging a career with the skill, it has historically been in engineering over mathematics or statistics. Data science gives the younger generation a unique opportunity to build a strong career with their core maths and statistics talent by combining it with computer science. There is clearly a natural fit for young talented Indian men and women in this field; it is now a matter of spreading awareness among them about data analytics and data science, showing them why it’s being considered worldwide as the ‘career of the future’.
To the second consideration, the role of the data analyst and data scientist is still evolving, with many companies struggling to identify the niche skills the job entails. On the one hand, we want data specialists to be adept at conducting quantitative analysis of the huge amounts of data that is at their disposal, and on the other, we want them to be able to articulate and visualize the data so they can easily present it back to their business leaders in order to aid their decision making. The company HR leaders must work closely with the leadership them to draw a career path that clearly defines how the high-level career ladder can be climbed by the data scientists.
But how to equip them with the skills and therefore confidence to gain insights from masses of data? The third point- and perhaps one of the most critical- is that educational institutions nationwide need to be offering courses in data analytics.