Weekly News Digest: 21st - 24th December

Ross Whatling our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 12/24/2020 10:06 AM
This is Harnham’s weekly news digest, the place to come for a quick breakdown of the week’s top news stories from the world of Data & Analytics. 

Which-50: The Art and Science of Data-Driven Decision Making


Data-driven decision making when actioned effectively can be a real success. However, marketing and analytics leaders in the digital marketing space recognise that, for the most part, managing the cross-channel customer experience, taming data silos, and creating and managing cultures inside companies all stand in the way of this.

Using data in a way that sets a business up for continued growth is critical and Which-50 heard from some senior leaders in analytics and marketing to share their thoughts on these obstacles.

Steffen Daleng, the CMO of Booktopia, says the first problem organisations face is that they have too many platforms. “We have data sitting in so many silos that we need to try and connect them to one single customer view, as they like to call it.

Campbell Holt, the Chief Customer Officer of Mercer says, “The single customer view is not a reality, despite what many claim, in a federated data model.

Managing the vision of implementing the data and the reality is key.

Read the full article here.

KDnuggets: Top nine Data Science courses to learn online


Within Data & Analytics, there have certainly been a range of key learnings we have taken from the past year. From implementing remote working and understanding the technology needed to support it, to a renewed focus on employee wellbeing, organisations will now be moving into the new year with a clearer vision for their growth and hiring plans.

What is also important to consider, as outlined by KDnuggets, is that preparing for a career in data science has also drastically changed. The skills gap in the tech industry is widening, and for professionals seeking to move into the data science discipline, it is crucial to think about furthering your education and opportunities by undertaking online courses.

In the USA, these are:

  • Post-Graduate Program in Data Science from Purdue University and Simplilearn
  • Graduate Data Science Certificate Program from Michigan Institute for Data Science, University of Michigan
  • Data Science Graduate Certificate from Harvard Extension School
  • Certificate in Data Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Data Analytics Certificate Program from University of Texas at Austin (Center for Professional Education)
  • Certificate in Data Science from Georgetown University
  • Certificate Program in Data Science from UC Berkeley Extension
  • Data Analytics - Cornell Certificate Program from eCornell
  • Professional Certificate in Applied Data Science from Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth

Read more on how you can further your learning here.

The Drum: Do you know how ITP is affecting your Google Analytics data?


A large number of marketers are likely to be unaware of the impacts that Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) is having on their Google Analytics data. A feature in Safari, ITP prevents a website from tracking its visitors around the web. A bit of a headache, right?

The Drum explores the impact this can have on marketers who will rely on this to understand and enhance the customer journey for Safari users. This article takes a look at how reporting may be misguided by this limitation of data.

Read more about this here.

Engadget: The New York Times brings its crossword to AR


As it’s Christmas week, we thought it would be fun to bring you this story as our last in the weekly roundups from Harnham.

We’ve all become familiar with the New York Times crossword in the newspaper, online and on mobile. But now, it’s coming to you in augmented reality too! The new version of the popular puzzle is called Shattered Crosswords and brings the game to life. It’s great to see how our uses of technology are changing across different sectors.

We’re loving this, and you can find out how to get involved here.

We've loved seeing all the news from Data & Analytics in the past week, it’s a market full of exciting and dynamic opportunities. To learn more about our work in this space, get in touch with us at info@harnham.com.

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.

Weekly News Digest - 11th-15th Jan 2021

This is Harnham’s weekly news digest, the place to come for a quick breakdown of the week’s top news stories from the world of data and analytics. KDNuggets: 20 core Data Science concepts for beginners The field of Data Science is one that continuously evolves. For Data Scientists, this means constantly learning and perfecting new skills, keeping up to date with crucial trends and filling knowledge gaps.  However, there are a core set of concepts that all Data Scientists will need to understand throughout their career, especially at the start. From Data Wrangling to Data Imputation, Reinforcement Learning to Evaluation Metrics, KDNuggets outlines 20 of the key basics needed.  A great article if you’re just starting out and want to grasp the essentials or, if you’re a bit further up the ladder and would appreciate a quick refresh.  Read more here.  FinExtra: 15 DevOps trends to watch in 2021 As a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no doubt that DevOps has come on leaps and bounds in the past year alone. FinExtra hears from a wide range of specialists within the sector, all of whom give their opinion on what 2021 holds for DevOps.  A few examples include: Nirav Chotai, Senior DevOps Engineer at Rakuten: “DataOps will definitely boom in 2021, and COVID might play a role in it. Due to COVID and WFH situation, consumption of digital content is skyrocket high which demands a new level of automation for self-scaling and self-healing systems to meet the growth and demand.” DevOps Architect at JFrog: “The "Sec'' part of DevSecOps will become more and more an integral part of the Software Development Lifecycle. A real security "shift left" approach will be the new norm.” CTO at International Technology Ventures: “Chaos Engineering will become an increasingly more important (and common) consideration in the DevOps planning discussions in more organizations.” Read the full article here.  Towards Data Science: 3 Simple Questions to Hone Python Skills for Beginners in 2021 Python is one of the most frequently used data languages within Data Science but for a new starter in the industry, it can be incredibly daunting. Leihua Yea, a PHD researcher at the University of California in Machine Learning and Data Science knows all too well how stressful can be to learn. He says: “Once, I struggled to figure out an easy level question on Leetcode and made no progress for hours!” In this piece for Towards Data Science, Yea gives junior Data Scientists three top pieces of advice to help master the basics of Python and level-up their skills. Find out what that advice is here.  ITWire: Enhancing customer experiences through better data management From the start of last year, businesses around the globe were pushed into a remote and digital way of working. This shift undoubtedly accelerated the use of the use of digital and data to keep their services as efficient and effective as possible.  Derak Cowan of Cohesity, the Information Technology company, talks with ITWire about the importance of the continued use of digital transformation and data post-pandemic, even after restrictions are relaxed and we move away from this overtly virtual world.  He says: “Business transformation is more than just a short-term tactic of buying software. If you want your business to thrive in the post-COVID age, it will need to place digital transformation at the heart of its business strategy and identify and overcome the roadblocks.” Read more about long-term digital transformation for your business here.  We've loved seeing all the news from Data and Analytics in the past week, it’s a market full of exciting and dynamic opportunities. To learn more about our work in this space, get in touch with us at info@harnham.com.

Seven Ways To Minimise Unconscious Bias In Your Recruitment Process

When it comes to the recruitment process, organisations will often take different approaches to securing their next hire. Yet, one challenge that remains the same across the board is the ubiquitous nature of unconscious bias. This typically means that individuals will favour those that look or think similarly to themselves. Not only is the potential for prejudice to arise an alarming issue here, but the impacts of unconscious bias can also have a detrimental effect on the hiring process, in both the short and long term. You could face missing out on a highly skilled and qualified candidate, as well as damaging opportunities for improving the diversity of the business. In order to address unconscious bias, organisations really need to take a moment to reflect and challenge their perceptions on the positive and the negative implications. Our own research demonstrates the opportunities of bolstering not only a diverse team in Data and Analytics, but an inclusive one too. Here are some core ways in which organisations can challenge and adapt their processes: Check your job descriptions It’s one of the simplest changes to make, but far too often overlooked. Many of us will use gender coded language without even realising it. It is therefore critical that all job descriptions are neutral, and that descriptive language is removed. Masculine-coded words such as ‘confident’ and ‘guru’ and feminine-coded words such as ‘understanding’ and ‘modest’ can really discourage individuals from applying for positions. Make use of panel-based interviews Over the past year, we’ve all become accustomed to a much more virtual way of working, which includes the recruitment process.  Our reliance on technology now plays an integral role in how we interview, test and hire candidates. When interviewing candidates, organisations should involve a range of different people (even if this is just in an observational role), as they may challenge your preconceptions and provide an alternative viewpoint. Instead of only involving the CEO and Managing Director, for example, make sure you have individuals from other departments and areas within the team sitting in too. Interviews should instead focus on skills-based tasks  In order to minimise the unconscious bias that permeates the recruitment process across industries, interviews need to focus on skills-based tasks. Importantly, hiring managers should be assessing the suitability for a role, so practical, skills-focused tasks are important in establishing this. Appoint an external inclusion agency If you’re stuck for where to start when it comes to improving the ways in which you plan and execute your hiring strategies, it could be worthwhile to seek support from an external agency or individual that specialises in inclusion. Their insights, experiences and knowledge will be able to support an organisation to ensure that their hiring process minimises the impacts of unconscious bias. Facilitating discussions and training In the same way that liaising with external experts can support an organisation, so to can introducing training sessions. Stamping out unconscious bias requires us all to challenge our ways of thinking to create an inclusive culture for all. Regardless of whether this is during the recruitment process, through onboarding or once an individual is working within the business, facilitating discussions and training can help. It should be noted though, that generalised training to minimise unconscious bias training isn’t always effective, so this should be assessed and planned according to relevant objectives and goals. Advertise roles through different channels To ensure that you are reaching a diverse pool of talent, hiring managers should ensure that positions are advertised across a range of different platforms. It may be the case that highly skilled professionals from different backgrounds do not all source new positions through the same websites or streams. Improving this access will ensure that you are not selecting candidates from the same pool of talent.  Set specific diversity and inclusion goals It’s crucial to remember that taking steps to minimise and remove these biases is just one part of a much bigger challenge that organisations are facing in order to action change. Firms need to assess their long-term diversity and inclusion goals in order to ensure that removing biases is part of an embedded strategy. Internal strategies must be reviewed and assessed in order to ensure that the approach to the recruitment process provides equal and fair access and opportunities for all to thrive. In the Data and Analytics sector, it’s key for leaders to take action to mandate some core strategies to engage and include a diverse team of talent. If you're looking to make your next hire, or are searching role yourself, get in touch with our expert consultants or take a look at our latest Data & Analytics jobs here. 

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