The trend of analytics started picking up steam around the year 2015. Fast-forward to today, and now every organisation understands the need for analytics and are hiring analytics professionals across verticals. In India, the scope is huge, and there is a tremendous need for analytics professionals which is only continuing to grow.
Each day, the available data volume for organisations seems to be growing exponentially and in turn, more sophisticated algorithms are being developed. However, most organisations are only able to capture a fraction of the potential value with the assistance of data and analytics. Every organisation faces the challenge of extracting value from analytics in an organisational format, and then comes the most complicated part: incorporating the data-driven insights into day-to-day business processes. The challenge remains in retaining the right talent – and this goes beyond the demand for data scientists. It is actually business translators who combine data with industry and functional expertise. This will help change the game as companies use their capabilities not only to improve their core operations but to launch entirely new business models.
Today, business schools have begun to offer specific courses that address the uptick in interest and increasing demand of students towards AI and data analytics. While it is useful for the next generation of workers to learn these topics, the need of the hour is to back up the analytics skills with strong programming skills. Schools need to cover programming languages as part of the core syllabus so that fresh graduates entering the workforce are ready to tackle day-to-day situations.
Bridging The Talent Gap
Alternatively, organisations are undertaking massive exercises to reskill their current workforce. Let’s take an example of the IT industry – nearly half of the 4 million people that the industry employs are being reskilled as the industry fights its worst crisis in almost a decade. The industry is witnessing an increasing demand for services using new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, machine learning and big data analytics.
The client demands have also changed significantly. The digital services are the focus, as applications need to have unique designs for users to access on handheld devices. The technology is also a result of firms directly working together with clients, and constantly consulting them for a customised process, instead of building out-of-the-box software based on specifications. Clients are also reluctant to spend huge amounts of money on innovative applications and typically spend smaller amounts to get an idea of capabilities before scaling up.
A Bridge Between Academia And Industry
Considering the ever-changing nature of the industry, it is now imperative to design academic curriculums as per the demands of the industry. Despite technology changing every year, curriculums tend to stay rigid. Colleges need to look at existing pedagogies and see if there is any scope to make it more practical in approach. Currently, the over-reliance on classroom methodology and a theory-based approach is not making much of a difference. By taking things like guest faculties and speakers from different industries, in conjunction with a near limitless catalogue of industry-relevant online courses, and merging them with the standard syllabus can give the students some valuable and deep insights into industry trends.
A report by a leading publication suggests that by 2020, two out of three millennials would like to take up a managerial job within three years of their joining, and the core skill set required by the industry will change. Skills like creative thinking, higher level problem solving, interpersonal skills, innovation, decision making will be in great demand.
The Corporate Advantage
Internships or part-time projects really go a long way in giving students the exposure they need to understand how the industry operates, and give students a real feel of what actually goes on at their future workplaces. Although internships are no surety towards finding a permanent job, the experience equips students and makes them ready to join the industry. Also, their achievements during their internship period boost their confidence as they learn a lot by spending a couple of months at an organisation.
The need of the hour is for employers to collaborate with academicians to develop a model that can assist in finding the right jobs based on one’s skill sets. This kind of model can benefit graduating students who can smoothly transition into industry roles, as well as help employers to hire resources that are skilled and job-ready.
The Way Forward
Most organisations have the data that is required to tackle business problems, but they do not know how to use that data to make important decisions. They need someone who can creatively use the available data. Mostly organisations lacking executive sponsors are slow to come to terms with the transformation around them and look at analytics with scepticism. Smart analytic organisations are grabbing a larger share of the pie by taking up small projects that yield tangible results. Most organisations are also venturing into analytics and are becoming good in certain applications. Eventually, the value of analytics is gauged by the way it helps an organisation become better either financially or operationally.