Risk Analytics & Your Job Search

Conor Larkin our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 11/12/2020 10:37 AM
Risk Analysis is a daily part of our decision-making process. Its influences are felt in how we prioritise projects. Hello, project management. It determines when we take breaks. And in the working from home or remote working culture, lines between personal and professional life are soon blurred.

Our decision-making ratchets through microanalyses of next steps, words to use, when to log off the computer, and what time to make lunch or dinner. Almost without realising it, we're using the SWOT matrix determine risk. That's just in our personal day-to-day lives. Organisations have been using these strategic planning techniques as a daily part of their enterprise lives. So, imagine this.

You determine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) to write your CV, land the interview, and get the job. Aren't you already on your way to helping your company determine their risk on a bigger scale? 

Isn't Risk Analysis the Same as SWOT?


Not exactly. While you are identifying, measuring, and analysing issues, the idea is to avoid or lessen risk. In the movie War Games, the main character decides he's going to play a game. But, neither the computer nor the main character understands the game is not a game. They have no idea what risk they've unleashed as keystrokes begin to lead to war. 

Militaries use Risk Analysis regularly to determine if war should begin, estimated casualties and cost just for a start. But, in the end, it's usually decided peace keeps the world away from war after all the risk has been analysed. Though most businesses and individuals don't have the risk of war at their doorstep, there are extenuating circumstances which must be determined to avoid risk. This can be anything from natural disasters to legislation to physical requirements and locations.

The SWOT technique is a tool within strategic planning as are Risk Analytics. Let's take a look at the benefits of Risk Analysis.  It can help your business improve security, manage costs, and plan for any surprises. Whether it helps you in your job search or manage your business once you're hired, a combination of SWOT and Risk Analytics can help your decision-making process shine.

Done well, Risk Analysis is an important tool for managing costs associated with risks, as well as for aiding an organisation's decision-making process.

SWOT your way to a Successful Job Search


So, first, let's take a look at what SWOT is and isn't. This type of analysis is a tool most often found in strategic planning for organisations. But, it's not the only tool when assessing risk. Like any data profession, you'll want to gather, collect, and analyse the information before you. And when it comes to the job search, knowing yourself and your self-awareness levels may play a bigger part than you imagine.

Skipping ahead to the interview from your 'foot in the door' CV and cover letter both delivered via video, of course, you begin to plan for your interview.

"What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?" your hiring manager asks. You've come well-prepared for this question because you've done your SWOT analysis. From the moment you decided your areas of expertise, your roles in organisations, and any areas you know you need to improve but can turn into a positive. You've pre-assessed your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities or obstacles, and threats.

Strengths – What characteristics do you possess which gives you an advantage over your competition? Have you cross-trained across a variety of departments? Do you have a knack for telling a compelling data narrative story to help make leadership make an informed decision?

Weaknesses – Where could you use more training? Are you looking for a business that offers it in-house or do you need a certification or class to give you a leg up over your competition? What puts you at a disadvantage and how would find a work around? What can you do to improve?

Opportunities or Obstacles – Has your experience taught you a new way of doing things within the industry? Does your experience extend from working alone to strong member of a team? Was the team in-house or scattered around the world? How did it affect your working style and what did you learn from it?

Threats – Threats may seem at odds with a job search, but…that was then. This is now. Threats are simply external forces which cause trouble in your planning. In other words, this is your risk assessment. What risks are involved and of those risks which will have less effect and which will have more on your desired outcome?

Performing this technique in your personal and professional life helps you peel back the layers of you. What has your education prepared you for? Your work experience? The projects you've chosen or been assigned to? It's all leading somewhere, right? This is where you match your strengths to opportunities. Hello, dream job.

If you're looking for your next role in the Data & Analytics, we may have a job for you. Take a look at our current opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to learn more.  

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

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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. 

How Will New Financial Risk Regulations Affect European Banks?

How Will New Financial Risk Regulations Affect European Banks?

The financial crisis of 2007-2008 changed banking. The world moved from taking mortgage loans in our dogs’ names to introducing strict regulations for banks prohibiting them from giving out loans to “anyone” without assessing Risk properly. In 2010 the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) introduced BASEL III, a regulatory framework that builds on BASEL I, and BASEL II. This framework changed how banks and financial institutions asses risk. It introduced an Advanced Internal Rate Based Approach (Commonly known as the AIRB approach).  Now, the committee has introduced new changes and, by 2022, all banks and institutions will have to implement the revised IRB Framework, as well as new revised regulations for the standardised approach, CVA Framework and new frameworks for Operational Risk and Market Risk. So, what does this mean for those working Risk? Change Is Coming Change is inevitable, no matter what you do. If you work in Risk Management and Compliance, change is something you can expect to happen, often. As mentioned above, by 2022 there will be lots of changes. The Basel Committee calls this initiative the “finalised reforms”, or BASEL IV which builds on the current regulatory framework BASEL III. Quickly summarised, the changes limit the reduction in capital that effect banks IRB models.  This change is predicted to impact banks in Sweden and Denmark the most, with estimations that capital ratio will fall by 2.5-3%, far higher than the 0.9% expected for the average European bank.  So what does all this mean for Swedish and Danish banks?  What’s Happening Now? One of the main things that Swedish and Danish banks need to revise for these new regulations, are their internal models. The new regulations introduced a new definition of Probability of Default, measured through a model commonly known as a PD model. Effectively this means that every bank must “re-develop” their internal PD Models in the IRB approach. Consequently, we are already seeing a clear response from the banks in their strategies moving forward. It has already become quite apparent that many banks are looking to make IRB model development their focus for 2019-2020 and 2021. This has resulted in a boom in the hiring space for developers with experience in IRB Modelling and Credit Risk Modelling in general, which in turn has led to high demand in the face of the low supply of these types of candidates. Understandably aware of this, modellers are now looking to negotiate higher salaries.  What You Can Do  For candidates that hold the right experience, there are good opportunities at hand. If so inclined, they can utilise this chance to finally see if the grass actually is greener on the other side, or not. However, there are a couple of things worth considering before making a move.   Firstly, are you actually keen on switching jobs? Your skills are probably equally in demand at your current employer and, if you are having doubts about moving from the get-go, you may well be able to negotiate a rise without pursuing a new opportunity. However, if you are serious about finding something new, this is a great time to do so. The majority of banks have found that these new regulations are creating an unsustainable workload,  and are now looking for talent externally to expand their teams. This means that the experienced modeller can pretty much have their pick of the litter.  Furthermore, if you are a junior modeller, there are now plenty of opportunities for you to enter a niche area known for being exciting and innovative. So, wherever you are in your career, these regulatory changes  are likely to have a large impact and open up new avenues for you to explore.   We all know that regulations in banking and finance are now essential, we all agree, even if they can be a little frustrating. However, what people often fail to think of are the opportunities new regulatory requirements create. In the case of BASEL IV, we’re already seeing an increase in demand for strong talent, and a demand for people who are passionate about Risk Management and model development.  For businesses, new regulations also provide the chance to not only improve their teams, but to  create new models that can be utilised to optimise and automate. A lot of financial institutions are already aware of this and are using these models to gain competitive advantage over their competitors, as well as to stay one hundred percent compliant.  If you’re looking to build out you Risk Management team or take on a new Risk opportunity for yourself, we may be able to help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

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