2018 Top Five Data & Analytics News Stories

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Posting date: 12/20/2018 9:13 AM
2018 has seen Big Data & Analytics come to the forefront on the public’s attention like never before. A series of scandals, new laws, and technological developments have opened up fresh conversations about who has access to our data, and what privacy really means in the 21st Century. 

In a year with a lot of news, it’s no surprise that some of the biggest stories have had a major impact on the Data & Analytics marketplace. As 2018 comes to a close, we’ve pulled together five of the biggest stories that have not only had a huge impact this year, but will continue to have repercussions in 2019 and beyond. 

#5. Apple Become the World’s First $1 Trillion Company


At the beginning of August, Apple became the first company to be valued at $1 Trillion. A result of the launch of their premium iPhone X, they beat rivals Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet to the milestone. Initial fears that the death of Steve Jobs in 2011 would stall the company’s growth proved to be unfounded, highlighting that product and brand still play the largest role in consumer loyalty. 

This achievement has raised the bar for what a tech company can achieve, and expect to see numerous others attempting to reach this level over the next decade. For an idea of what they’ll have to achieve, however, take a look at the New York Times’ visualisation of what a $1 Trillion value really means. 

#4. Google Walk Out Over Women’s Rights


Following the #MeToo movement coming to precedence in 2017, businesses are now being properly scrutinised for their treatment of women. From the gender pay gap, to cases of sexual harassment, people are demanding transparency and accountability. Within Data & Analytics, the protests at Google were the leading example. 

Allegations surrounding the company’s handling of claims of sexual misconduct led to staff around the world walking out. Looking for several key changes, in particular the end of forced arbitration, employees highlighted Google’s key mission statement of ‘Don’t Be Evil’. 

Diversity and equality will continue to take centre stage in the years to come, with smaller businesses likely to face similar amounts of scrutiny. We’ll be releasing our report on the state of Diversity in Data & Analytics in early 2019, so come back soon to get your copy.  

#3. The Crypto Crash


Having peaked at $19,783.06 in December ’17, 2018 saw Bitcoin, and numerous other cryptocurrencies, finally crash. Whilst this had been predicted for a while, it looks as though it may take some time for any of the currencies to gather any new momentum and regain stability. 

Tough new restrictions in China, one of the biggest countries for crypto, as well as ICO Ad bans on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram will limit the number of new and returning buyers. Furthermore, initial moves into the mainstream, such as Barclay’s crypto trading project, appear to have stalled. In contrast to the past few years, the future of crypto is no longer looking so bright. 

#2. GDPR Comes Into Play


Anyone who works with any form of data couldn’t miss the introduction of GDPR, as it became enforced in April this year. A complete rewrite of the rules for data protection, we’re only beginning to see its true impact, as the first UK enforcement finally arrives. 

Many industries are already feeling a more specific impact, however. In particular, those working in Ad Tech have found the new regulations to be frustratingly limiting to their capabilities. Despite these issues, this is far from the end of GDPR, as both the US and India look to introduce similar regulations in the not-too-distant future. 

#1. THE CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA SCANDAL


The biggest Data & Analytics story of the year is, undoubtedly, the Cambridge Analytica scandal. A watershed moment in the public’s perception of how their data is used, concern grew from privacy issues to potential large-scale election rigging. The resulting chaos has seen an immense amount of pressure on Facebook and, in particular, Mark Zuckerberg, who has been called in front of numerous governments.

Whilst the outcomes don’t appear to have ultimately been too dire for Facebook as a business, the consequences of the scandal will continue to be felt for a long time to come.  Data breaches now regularly make headline news and the way we scrutinise how companies use our data is forever changed. 

If you’re looking to make a big impact in 2019 and beyond, we may have a role for you. Check out our latest roles or get in touch with one of our specialist consultants. 

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Barcelona's Tech Talent Shortage

Big Data is present in every aspect of our daily lives. Virtually all activities we carry out involve the generation of data; every time you turn on your computer, every search we make, every purchase or subscription online, when we use our mobile phones, each time we pay with our credit card…  This list goes on and often we leave our mark without even realising it. Worldwide, Data companies are aware of the immeasurable value of this information. From improving, predicting and avoiding future developments, to making decisions more effectively and efficiently, reducing costs, and, in short, making things easier and better. Barcelona is no exception. But, like many major cities, demand is far exceeding supply.  A Shortfall of Talent Understandably, crucial to a business’ Data & Analytics success are the professionals in charge of the development of the technologies that gather, transform, analyse and draw conclusions from that Data. Without these professionals the Data has no use, and it is almost impressive how the lack of skilled professionals is affecting this sector in particular.  A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to Barcelona and meet several companies who are leading the global digital transformation. My time there highlighted to me that not only are most of the companies are looking for very similar profiles, but also that they all are struggling to find skilled people to join their projects. Broadly speaking, there are two types of profiles within the Big Data field:  The specialists who put in place the necessary infrastructure to store collected Data. These are purely technical profiles such as Software Developers, Data Engineers, Data Architects, and Programmers.The specialists working on this Data, generating insights and making suggestions in order to make a profit. These profiles are typically more business-oriented such as Data Analysts and Data Scientists.  The recent emergence of these profiles, and their importance in the success of a business has led to a skills short. This has resulted in a real challenge for companies who are looking to adapt and keep at the forefront of technology.  Education, Education, Education How is a booming sector with such a good prospects having such difficulties finding skilled professionals? Are companies looking to hire without considering the real labour market situation? Is it a problem that affects only Spain?  The main reason for the shortage is understandably the rapid growth of the market as a result of a huge increase of Data generation, associated with the increased use of mobile devices. This has brought new demands on a workforce, in particular for specialised profiles and skills, and experts in the latest technologies.   It must be taken into account that a Big Data expert profile, like a Data Engineer or a Data Scientist, barely existed few years ago – therefore training and retraining is fundamental. Given that situation, governments, companies and universities need to be taking measures and establishing agreements in order to provide subsidies, to offer training aids, and to facilitate the access for study and research offering a wider variety of studies and internships programs.  Fortunately, this something that I’m seeing more of now in Spain, in addition to numerous perks like competitive salaries, flexible working, and even working remotely.  Looking Further Afield However, whilst education may help address a shortage in the long term, it still leaves a lack of viable candidates in the present. Barcelona, like many tech hubs, is embracing international candidates with attractive relocation offers and benefits packages. By opening up to the world’s best talent, as well as  continuing to find local stars of the future, the city is cementing itself as a leader of the digital transformation.  If you are currently focused within this area then there are likely to be multiple job opportunities available, with above average salaries. You’ll be able to continue to refine your skills with additional training and likely have the pick of any sector in which you might like to work. Get in touch if you’re considering Barcelona for your next role or take a look at our latest opportunities to discover hundreds of Big Data & Analytics jobs. 

Why Should Data Professionals Move To The Netherlands?

You might only know the Netherlands for its windmills, amazing cheese and coffee shops, but there is so much more than meets the eye.  It might be a small country, but the Netherlands is a booming tech hub. As more and more world leading companies move their headquarters to Amsterdam, and innovative start-ups settle in, it’s the perfect time to get in on the action. Here’s why the Netherlands could be right for you.  You’re welcome in the Netherlands  The Netherlands is a small country and, thus, a very close community. But we’re very used to people  from abroad and so we have a very inclusive approach to them, especially when it comes to our national celebrations. Take King’s Day at the end of April, where the entire country celebrates the birthday of the King in all orange style. It’s my favourite day of the year and there is plenty to get involved with around the city.  Another great thing about moving to the Netherlands is that it is not necessary to learn Dutch to feel included. English is spoken throughout the country, and every day I speak to many non-Dutch candidates. In fact, I think 80 percent of the candidates I have worked with weren’t born in the Netherlands, and there is a big community of expats; perfect for someone moving from abroad to settle in.  You’ll have a great work-life balance  If you’re looking for an awesome work-life balance, then the Netherlands is the best country in Europe. It has some of the shortest working hours on the continent, an informal culture and a huge emphasis on life outside of the office. Part-time employment is common and our flexible freelance culture sees many entrepreneurs working from their local café instead of being stuck in an office. Dutch people value home time as much as work time and, typically, both parents tend to spend a lot of time with their kids.  Our culture is very ‘gezellig’, if you know what I mean. No? Well, Gezellig is my favourite Dutch word and, when I am back home, I use it all the time. There is no direct translation for it, but it’s the best way to describe the Dutch lifestyle. Meaning cosy friendliness (similar to hygge in Danish), gezellig is one of the loveliest things about life in Holland. From the snug tiny brown cafés and super modern bistros, to spending time at home with your loved ones - being gezellig is central to Dutch life.  Also, let’s not forget that the Netherlands is the country with the best biking infrastructure in the world. In fact, we have more bikes than people! No matter what the weather conditions are, Dutch people cycle everywhere.  You’ll have the chance to work for amazing companies  Although the Netherlands did not manage to qualify for the football World Cup last year, the Dutch are clearly becoming one of the finest players in Europe’s technology industry. I have seen a lot of tech companies begin to move over, with some even relocating their headquarters, such as Booking.com and Sony. The technology-driven city that Amsterdam has become has made it a popular area for start-ups as well, with so much good tech talent making it even more attractive for companies to settle there.  You’ll be earning good money  The Netherlands is one of the most developed countries in the world and the Dutch government offer a great amount of support to those moving there to work. To attract highly skilled migrants, expats can apply for a 30 percent tax break scheme: an amazing benefit! The government also helps small businesses grow by offering tax breaks. The Dutch property market is a complex one but, like any other big city, location is everything. Cities like London or Oslo are a lot more expensive to live in than Amsterdam, where there are loads of up and coming neighbourhoods. These hubs are where you’ll find tech start-ups locating their businesses and are fun, modern, and affordable places to live. The Netherlands has quickly become the place to live and work for people in the Data & Analytics market. Amsterdam, with its amazing variety of tech companies, in particular, is booming. And, with an excess of ‘gezelligheid’, great tax breaks, and a wonderful work-life balance, it could well be the perfect place for your next step.  Want to become part of it? We are recruiting for various Data & Analytics roles in the Netherlands. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with me to find out more. 

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