Easier, Smarter, Better: What Does The 2019 Data Landscape Look Like?

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Posting date: 12/11/2018 1:32 PM
Data & Analytics have played a larger role in 2018 than ever before. A key talking-point, this year saw the Cambridge Analytica scandal, resulting in increased pressure on the biggest names in tech. With Mark Zuckerberg being summoned before various governments worldwide to answer privacy and security concerns, it’s unlikely that we’re going to stop talking about the impact of Big Data any time soon. 

Fortunately, 2018 also appears to have been a turning point. Whilst we’ve seen a greater number of threats from Data, we’ve embraced the technology it supports more than ever before. As a result of this, 2019 is looking brighter than ever for the Data & Analytics landscape. 

Easier Access to Data


As businesses start to look at keeping their data closer to home, access has become more important than ever. Edge Computing has dramatically increased in popularity, and it doesn’t look like we’re going to see it slow down any time soon. BI Intelligence are estimating that, by the end of 2019, there will be 5.6 billion business-owned devices that access data in this way. 

A result of the speed at which technology is advancing, Edge Computing is also seen as a more secure and private way to hold data. Whilst it was initially feared that the ‘Edge Will Eat the Cloud’, we’ve actually seen both perform strongly enough to stand on their own two feet. Far more than just being a stepping stone as we move away from Data Centres, we’ve seen Edge Computing play a role in everything from the Internet of Things, to everyday fuel efficiency.

And, in 2019, we can expect it to play an even bigger role, as platforms emerge that will combine edge, multi-cloud and hybrid technologies.

Smarter Tech Than Ever Before


Whilst we all know that next year will introduce us to smarter technologies, they’re a few places where we can already some 2019 standouts. Natural Language Processing (NLP) has leapt forward over the past year and will continue its acceleration in 2019. Advances in Machine Learning (ML) will see BI tools feel the biggest benefit from this. In particular, the ability to ask programs questions around Data Visualisations and improve our insights will play a huge role. 

Off the back of this, we’re likely to see Automated ML play a huge role. Falling between cognitive APIs and custom ML platforms, Auto ML will offer analysts the flexibility to deal with complex issues without having to go through the typical ML training process. 

AI and ML will also revolutionise the DevOps world as 2019 sees AIOps become mainstream. This multi-layered technology will automate and streamline significant amounts of IT operations as the speed, and demand, of data continues to increase, but accountability remains the same. 

Becoming a Better Society with Data


Unsurprisingly, GDPR has had a huge impact on the Data & Analytics landscape in 2018. And, with the USA and India looking to embrace similar regulations in the new year, we’ll continue to feel the repercussions of this in 2019. 

Companies are now no longer being assessed on the black and white of the legality of their practices, but how ethically they use the data they have access to. As a result of issues that have arisen over the past few years, how social media giants handle their data is now a leading discussion point during every major election. Whilst Facebook are already taking some steps to address this, expect to see the pressure on them and their contemporaries continue to increase in 2019. 

It’s not only major networks that are having to adapt either. The number of leading businesses who now have their own data code of ethics has dramatically increased in the past few years and shows no signs of slowing. Plus, new technologies mean new risks and new principles. For example, as Facial Recognition technology becomes more and more prevalent, public concerns will lead to both fresh regulations but also increased responsibilities for firms

However, it’s not all rules and regulations. The rise in the amount of Data we have has led to a rise in the possibility to utilise it for social good. Enterprises like Orange and The Hutch Data Commonwealth are looking at how we can share data and insights to achieve common goals and make the world a better place. Despite an increase in risks, 2019 is also offering a plethora of opportunities to use data for good. 

If you’re looking to embrace the new and take on a fresh challenge in 2019, we can help. Take a look at our latest roles or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

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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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