Vision 2020: Challenges of Today and the Skills of Tomorrow

Scott Lazarus our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 10/18/2018 8:14 AM
Yesterday is history. As businesses race to stay competitive and relevant in today’s world, they face unprecedented changes to the way business works. The increasing speed at which digital advancements transform our ways of working has forced all of us, from entry-level to CEO, to adapt. If business leaders can’t add digital leadership to their expertise, they’re in danger of being left behind. 

Key Characteristics of a Data & Analytics Strategy


Data is driving business and it is increasingly important to build an effective Data & Analytics strategy. To do this, companies need the right people in place. They’ll need to get familiar with pressing topics and trends such as GDPR, AI, and Blockchain. Though GDPR is currently only within the EMEA region, it’s important for all businesses to adopt worldwide as part of their ongoing strategy. 

There are three key characteristics businesses will need to bear in mind when formulating their strategy:

  • Trust
  • Robust Capabilities
  • Insights

By engaging with these characteristics, business can help secure their enterprise for the long term. 

Skills to Have for the Future of Work


While technologies such as AI can take over routine tasks allowing human employees more time to solve complex problems, we all need to review what other skills we can contribute. 

Whether you’re in school or looking for your next opportunity, here are a few skills which can help you rise above the competition in the next year or two. According the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Future of Jobs Report, these are the skills employers will need, whether they know it yet or not:

  • Cognitive flexibility and critical thinking. This involves logical reasoning, problem sensitivity, and creativity.  
  • Negotiation skills. This applies to every industry from Data Analysis and Software Development to those in commercial and industrial Art and Design fields.
  • Service to others. Are you known for helping those on your team, your supervisors, and those in your industry? These skills will be more important than ever.
  • Judgement and decision making. Getting buy-in from a colleague and offering a strong suggestions to managers and executives at the right moment. 
  • Emotional Intelligence. Can you gauge someone’s reaction by their body language or the slight hesitation before they answer a question or make comment? This skill will become increasingly important as the workforce of the future begins to blend robot and human. 
  • Coordinating and collaborating with others. The ability to adjustable, flexible, and be sensitive to others’ needs.
  • People Management. For managers and higher, it will be crucial to choose the best people for the job, motivate them, and help them develop their talents and skills.
  • Creativity. Employers will need people who can think creatively and not only apply it to new products and services, but also to discern new ways to solve a problem. Critical thinking skills coupled with creativity just may be the one-two punch needed for the workforce of the future.
  • Complex problem-solving. Humans who can analyse data results and have intelligent conversations with the employees who need them will be highly sought after in 2020. 

One thing that’s important to note in the list above is the prominence of ‘soft skills’. Though Data & Analytics roles remain the top technical arena, what employers need in the future is individuals with highly developed social skills too. As robots and AI take on mundane, routine jobs, employers will need people who can be, well, human. 

Can you bring a group of people with diverse opinions together? Can you morph from cold analytical numbers to warm greetings? Can you explain complex topics in varying degrees to people at different levels – graduates, managers, the boardroom? Continue to harness these skills and you will be even more valuable by 2020. 

Have you got 2020 vision for the future? We may have a role for you. We specialise in both Junior and Senior roles. 

To learn more, check out our current vacancies or get in touch


Related blog & news

With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.

Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out the related posts below.

What Will Happen In The World Of Data & Analytics In 2020?

What Will Happen In The World Of Data & Analytics In 2020?

The New Year, and the new decade, have arrived. The past ten years saw Data move to the forefront of public conversation following a number of big leaks and controversies. But, realistically, the impact of the ease of access to a surplus Big Data has only just begun to be felt.  Whilst many are predicting what the world will look like by the end of the 2020s, discussing how far AI will have come and the consequences of automation on the job market, we’ve decided to look a little closer to home.  With that in mind, here are a few trends we expect to see over the next year.   ACCESS TO DATA SCIENCE WILL BECOME EASIER Data Scientists have traditionally been limited in number, a key group of individuals with PhDs, honed skills, and a vast understanding of Data & Analytics. However, with the advent of a number of new tools, more and more users will be able to perform Data Science tasks. However, many of the more sophisticated processes are still far from being replicated, so those currently working in this area shouldn’t be concerned. In fact, the more standard tasks that can be automated, the more time Data Scientists will have to experiment and innovate.  THE 5G EXPLOSION  Whilst there may have been a soft launch last year, the introduction of 5G will have a much more significant impact over the next year. With a flurry of compatible mobile devices around, and many more expected to come, we’re likely see 5G networks hit the mainstream.  In the world of Data, this is likely to have a huge impact on how businesses use the Cloud. Indeed, with mobile upload and download speeds set to be so fast, there is a chance that an online middle-system may no longer be as necessary as it once was.  THE RISE OF THE EDGE On the subject of the Cloud, it’s worth talking about Edge Computing. No, this has nothing to do with the pizza or the guitarist. Edge Computing has been a trend for a few years now, but, following an announcement from AWS, it looks set to become much more prevalent in 2020.  Concerned with moving processing away from the Cloud and close to the end-user, Edge Computing is already beginning to have an impact across a number of industries.  A NEED FOR AUGMENTED ANALYTICS It’s no surprise that the use of AI, Machine Learning and NLP is set to increase over the next year, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that Augmented Analytics are set to become more popular too.  The opportunities, and extra time, offered by using the automated decision making offered by Augmented Analytics are the perfect fit for the increasing number of organisations who find themselves with more Data than processing capabilities.  DATA WILL HELP FIGHT THE CLIMATE CRISIS  Whilst there is a fair argument that the amount of processing required by the world of Data & Analytics is detrimental to the climate, the benefits any insights can offer are likely to outweigh any negative impact.  Indeed, the UK government are already using Satellite Data to help reduce the impact of flooding, whilst Google’s EIE is being used to map carbon emissions with a view to better plan future cities. Given the recent, and tragic, bushfires in Australia, this is going to become an even more pressing issue over the next 12 months.  If you want to be at the forefront of the latest innovations in Data & Analytics, we may have a role for you.  Take a look at our latest opportunities, or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out how we can help you. 

HOW AI AFFECTS US FROM JOURNALISM TO POLITICS

How AI Affects Us from Journalism to Politics

It’s been nearly 40 years since the War Games movie was released. Remember the computer voice, JOSHUA, who asked the infamous, “Would you like to play a game?”. The computer had been programmed to learn. You might call it a forerunner of Artificial Intelligence (AI) today. Except AI is no longer the little boy who becomes a stand-in for a grieving family. Now, we’re no longer watching a movie about AI, we’re living in its times. But unlike a movie, we won’t find a solution after 90-minutes to two hours. Now, we must be cautious and pay attention or we will be leapfrogged by our own inventions. Can we change course at this late stage? As we enter a new decade, let’s take a look at some of the concerns and solutions posed by Amy Webb, author of The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity.  How Did We Get Here? As Christmas approaches, we are cajoled by memories and makers to buy back our past and cement our futures with things. Our desires for instant gratification keep us from planning for AI properly. While it can be fun to watch AI play against Chess champions or worrisome to watch it direct our buying decisions, we remain secure in that its not yet to its full potential. But elements such as facial recognition and realistic generation cause concern for a number of reasons. Not the least of which is what will happen when systems make our choices for us. From the Big 5 of Tech to your local commercial or paper, our minds are already often made up. And even when we’re presented with the truth, we may not even realise it because our AI capabilities have grown exponentially and continue to grow making us wonder…what if? So, What Can We Do? Businesses, Universities, and the Media all have a part to play. And in our image-centric world, the greatest of these is Media. Universities can blend technical skills with soft skills and blend in degrees such as philosophy, cultural anthropology, and microeconomics just to name a few. The blending of these skills can offer a more robust understanding of the world around us.  Businesses can work to ensure a more diverse staff and improve inclusion. Shareholders and investors can help by slowing down when considering investments in AI to allow for determining risk and bias before moving forward. And when it comes to the Media, there’s general agreement the public needs greater media literacy. While AI-focused accusations of deepfakes in news and on television abound, there is a greater concern in that much of what people believe to be fake, isn’t. So, the question becomes, how does the media generate trust in a public that no longer believes what it  reads, sees, or hears?  It’s this casting of doubt which is the greater danger. Why? Because it requires no technology at all. While it’s best to be informed, it can be tricky to navigate in today’s world. So, it’s up to not only the news consumers, but is up to researchers, journalists, and platforms to separate the wheat from the chaff. Or in this case, the real from the fake before the news reaches its audience. From Socrates who taught his students to question what they learned to the students of the 20th century expected to remember only what was needed for a test; we have come full circle. But at a unique time in our world, in which the questioning has not much to do with challenging ourselves but is at best used to sow distrust.  While tech companies like Facebook and Google have jumped on the bandwagon to expose fakes, others are moving into how to build trust. Again. At best, these startups offer comparisons of videos and images as the human eye works to discern the difference.  But while tech may be advancing technological wonders by leaps and bounds, there remains a solid grounding of the human element. Humans are needed as content moderators to dispel fiction from truth. And in the media? There’s a renewed focus on training journalists to fact check, detect, and verify their stories. The human element adds a layer of nuance machines can’t yet emulate. If you’re interested in AI, Big Data and Digital or Web Analytics, we may have a role for you. Take a look at our current opportunities, or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

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