The ‘New Normal’ Isn’t So New To Data & Analytics

David Farmer our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 8/13/2020 8:12 AM
Across the globe, the impact of COVID-19 has spread like wildfire and our sense of normality has been shaken, most likely for good. We’re seeing huge spikes of flexible working offerings, with many opting to work from home; a virtual world of online meetings; new diagnosable psychological conditions such as ‘Zoom fatigue’; the inability to stand any closer to our friends and colleagues than two metres; and real concerns for our jobs markets and our economy. 

However, elements of our new world aren’t as unique as we probably think. The changes that the pandemic has made to many of our industries, their environments and attitudes especially, were beginning to take shape a few years before COVID-19 in the Data & Analytics space.

Flexibility 


Working remotely or from home is possible in the industry first and foremost because of well-established, high-functioning Cloud-based technologies. In Harnham’s most recent research, our 2020 UK Salary Guide, the top five technologies across the sphere are SQL, Python, SAS, Google Analytics and Excel. 

With these systems already in place, the almost-overnight shift that the world saw from office-based work to a flexible model was already implemented across the Data & Analytics sector. Ahead of the pandemic, over half of Data & Analytics businesses stated that they had some sort of flexible working scheme in place; this year we saw this rocket to 84%. 

While it may seem connected this growth is not a result of lockdown measures. Prior to COVID-19 rapidly changing measures in the UK, 83% of respondents were listed as having some form of flexible working, something which only increased by 2% during our post-COVID analysis.

Job Security


Of course, one big concern across the board was whether any of us would have a desk to go back to once things began to subside, with many holding onto their current roles for dear life. However, for Data & Analytics, changes in attitudes were not as drastic as people may expect. While less respondents felt ‘more secure’ in their role and slightly more felt ‘less secure’ than this time last year, the number who felt ‘about the same’ stayed almost identical. Even post-COVID, 77% felt ‘more’ or ‘as secure’ in the role, the same percentage as in our 2019 guide.

Interlinked with this surprisingly good attitude towards job security is the atypical finding that, despite our economy and the jobs market as a whole, the Data & Analytics market will be more active than ever this year. Post-COVID less respondents felt happy in their current position and almost a third were actively seeking a new role. Confident in the industry as it still efficiently grinds it gears, employees are searching for more competitive salaries (17%) or a role with more career progression prospects (18%); 74% would happily leave their roles if something better came about within the industry, only 3 percentage points down from last year.

The pandemic has undoubtedly changed our world for good, and for many the next year, two years and so on will be a period of having to adapt and flex to the employee, economic and industry changes to come. What is sure however, is that Data & Analytics is two steps ahead, and will look to continue to trail blaze over this turbulent time as an industry that has been adapting to the ‘New Normal’ long before any of us could have predicted we would need it. 

If you're looking for more insights on the Data & Analytics, you can download our 2020 UK, EU, and US guides here

If you're looking to take the next step in your career you can find all of our latest roles here or, if you're looking to hire in these uncertain times, get in touch with one of our expert consultants who will be happy to help. 

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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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The Dialogue: IR35 - What You Need To Know

For the latest episode of The Dialogue, Associate Director Dan Lewis sat down with Andy Dagnall from Contract insurance specialists Kingsbridge to talk all thing IR35. Here's what we learnt: - Understanding your current workforce and who your contractors are should be the first step for any business looking into IR35.  - Businesses should be set up better now there has been a delay. Getting IR35 right in the current economic is so much more important than it was the first time round. - Blanket bans on contracting don't factor in the risks of projects not being completed and loss of talent.  - The Public Sector tried blanket bans and they didn't work. They've now bounced back by embracing a new way of working.   - There are online tools to help determine a contractor's status in regards to IR35 and Harnham have our own tool for this stage of the process.  - Collaboration will be key for both businesses and contractors. Working with third parties will help make the process easier.  - It is almost essential that contractors take out insurance to mitigate the risk of a wrongful determination.  - Status determination can change throughout a project. An inside determination at one stage of a project won't necessarily stay that way for the duration.  - Contractors will have more trust in businesses that have a robust process in place.  - Contractors can get a working practices review done now so they can approach recruiters or businesses with an understanding of where they will fall with IR35.  - The most important thing in a status determination is being honest.  - And much, much more.  You can watch the full conversation below:

Is Contract Work For You?

Remote work. Working from home. Flexible options. Contract work. The opportunities are endless in every industry when it comes to ways to work, but for Data professionals, its benefits are expounded. Consider this. You’ve been in the Machine Learning vertical for a number of years, but your interests are drawn towards Robotics. How do you make the leap? How do you know it’s for you? What if you could ‘try before you buy’? If the current job climate has you reassessing where you are and where you want to be, you may want to think about contract work. It gives you the perfect opportunity to join a new project, lead a new project, or recharge yourself with new ideas from a different location. Three Benefits of Contract Work Demand – Data professionals are always in high demand, and those with the balance of technical and soft skills have an even higher Steady Pay - Steady daily, weekly, or monthly pay for a finite amount of time.Flexibility – While how we work has changed, there are still elements of flexibility to entice even the most flexible options.  The three options above may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things these days, but imagine the possibilities.  It may seem like the best option is to keep your head down and hold on tight, but let’s imagine a scenario. You’re facing a problem at work that you’ve been trying to solve for weeks or months. You can feel an answer forming, but there’s something blocking you. The problem needs to be solved, but it’s something you can take a break from. Vacation is out of the question. After all, where would you go? Now, let’s imagine there’s a company who needs someone with your expertise. It’s a different project. A different team. A completely new environment. They don’t need a full-time employee, just someone who can step in and see what the others can’t. Or someone who can step in and lead a team for project of a day, a month, 3-6 months or more.  You join the team and over time, you’re surprised to discover, the answer escaping you from your permanent company has found its way to you. It’s a win-win. You feel refreshed, recharged, and if you’ve done well, you now have a choice. Do you go back to your old company or do you join the new company you’ve been working with for the last few months? Three Things To Be Aware Of In Contract It is, by its very nature, not permanent.Your salary isn’t guaranteed or steady over the course of a year. Flexibility is a double-edged sword giving both contract workers and employers the opportunity to change course at the drop of a hat. Data professionals are not only in demand, but those who have been in the industry for five years or more have more options than most. You are the professionals who can move into Contract work to refresh the way you work, find yourself recharged, and ready for whatever may come your way. You’ve worked with global and local teams on a variety of projects. You’ve joined or lead teams outside your comfort zone. You’ve gotten to experience another vertical within your industry. Where will your next steps take you? If you're looking for your next role in Data & Analytics, Contract or otherwise, 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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