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Weekly News Digest: 3rd - 7th May 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 & Analytics.      Personnel Today: Top 50 firms for gender equality named This week it was great to see that leading recruitment publication, Personnel Today, reported on the organisations that have continued efforts to improve gender equality over the past year. These names were also featured on The Times Top 50 Employers for Women. Household names including PepsiCo UK & Ireland and Royal Mail; public sector bodies including the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Transport; law firms including Allen and Overy and Pinsent Masons; and financial and insurance institutions including Santander and Aviva all take a spot on the 2021 list. The pandemic has, without doubt, placed greater emphasis on how much progress still needs to be made to achieve gender equality. However, it’s great to see awareness, recognition and celebration of organisations that are contributing to the narrative of success for women in business. See more on this here. Retail Insight Network: What online retailers can expect as high street footfall increases “The fact that e-commerce and social media are intrinsically entwined has allowed brands to engage directly with customers through virtual means.” These are the expert thoughts of Oracle NetSuite retail industry principal Zak Rafiq, talking to Retail Insight Network about what retailers can expect amid increasing footfall and why a direct-to-consumer strategy may be imperative in the current retail landscape. A successful direct-to-consumer strategy can put online retailers in control and offers a good opportunity to drive revenue without the costly overhead associated with physical retail. By operating in an online space, retailers can build a strong understanding of their consumer profile, in turn crafting a strategy for how to engage them (particularly post-pandemic) and generating an impactful and long-lasting customer experience. To read more on this topic, click here. KDNuggets: Best Podcasts for Machine Learning Podcasts are continuing to surge in popularity. In particular from a business perspective, those that feature interviews with industry experts can prove to be a vital tool for professionals to learn about subfields, and the latest innovations in their area of expertise – and beyond! This great summary article from KDNuggets outlines the best podcasts to help data professionals, who are either keen to learn or already seasoned practitioners, get a better understanding of machine learning. A few mentioned on the list include: Gradient DissentDeepMind: The PodcastLex Fridman PodcastChai Time Data ScienceMachine Learning Street Talks To read the full article and add these to your subscriptions, read more here.  TechRepublic: Microsoft is boosting its support for the Python programming ecosystem We love this article from TechRepublic, sharing the positive news from Microsoft this week, as the organisation is set to increase its support for the Python community. This means that the programming language will be pushed forward in emerging fields like data science. A pretty big step for the industry. What does this mean? Well, the tech giant has pledged $150,000 in financial sponsorship to the Python Software Foundation, the non-profit organization that holds the rights to the language – the creator of Python, Guido van Rossum, even came out of retirement last year to work with Microsoft on their plans to support the community of Python programmers. It will certainly be worth keeping an eye on where this goes next. We’ll definitely be paying close attention! To read more about this, click 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.    

Three Years Of GDPR: The Evolution Of Data Protection

Since its inception in 1991, the World Wide Web – or the internet – has grown immeasurably, with its capabilities exceeding the expectations of anyone who witnessed its implementation only 30 years ago. Now, it’s hard to think of a world without it; where would we be without unlimited knowledge at the touch of a button, the ability to maintain friendships with people halfway across the world or cat videos? Of course, the internet isn’t always a positive place. As the popularity of the online world grew, there also became an increased risk, particularly to our identities and our money.  In 1998, to combat the mismanagement of data both online and offline, Parliament passed the Data Protection Act. Compiled of eight different principles, from fair and lawful processing to disallowing data transfers from outside of the EU, this law aimed to help reduce the risk of data mismanagement and data breaches, while holding the power to fine and prosecute those who didn’t comply.  In January 2012, the European Commission wanted to take these laws one step further. As we began to enter a digital-first age, where the online world began to blend seamlessly with our daily lives, questions around whether the Data Protection Act of 1998 was robust enough to protect EU citizens.  On May 25th, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced. Not only did this new law enforce tougher rules around data protection, including the protection of genetic data and biometrics, but it made business data collection far more transparent. For the first time, internet users were able to see exactly how and why their data was being used, and they were given the autonomy to opt-out of giving away sensitive data. Additionally, consumers now have the right to request ‘to be forgotten’, with all stored data being wiped from a business’ database with the click of a button.  As we edge closer to the three-year anniversary of the implementation of GDPR, we look at how the new laws have impacted both consumers and businesses, for better and for worse.  Consumer trust Both sides of the coin tell a very different story when it comes to consumer trust and GDPR. The general consensus amongst businesses across the EU is that GDPR has greatly improved consumer trust, with 73 per cent reporting that the regulations have notably improved data security. Unfortunately, this sentiment isn’t shared by consumers.  84 per cent feel that GDPR hasn’t been taken seriously by businesses, and the level of security they feel when giving data to certain sectors varies hugely. While financial services, such as banks, have gained nearly half of consumers’ trust, hospitality, for example, are lagging behind with not even a quarter of consumers happy with the level of security.  But, looking at data breaches that have occurred since the implementation of GDPR, this level of dissatisfaction and worry from consumers comes as no surprise. From 280 million Microsoft users’ data being left unprotected to over a million of Mashable’s staff and consumer data being leaked by hackers, GDPR hasn’t necessarily solved the problems it was set out to manage, and consumers are concerned.  Consumer control Despite the worry of continued breaches and hacks, consumers do feel however that GDPR has improved the control they have over their own data. From being able to opt-in instead of having to opt-out, to having greater choice over the information given away through cookies, consumers feel much happier to be able to walk away from the brands they don’t trust and/or have no interest in.  Education around Data privacy  GDPR, since its inception, has been something that has eluded many. Filled with jargon and lacking much in the way of accessible educational assets, consumers – while aware of their data concerns – are still unsure of how to protect themselves against hacks or breaches. For example, only 14 per cent of internet users encrypt private conversations and only a third change their passwords regularly.  While GDPR has undoubtedly been a positive step forward for businesses and consumers alike, it is clear there is room for great improvement. It is expected that as the world continues to evolve into a digital-first society, especially post-COVID as many of us move online for good in our working lives, and the need for much-improved data security becomes paramount, GDPR laws and business compliance will need to continue to evolve and improve and fast.  If you're looking for your next opportunity, or to build out your Data & Analytics team, we can help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

Weekly Digest: 26th - 30th April 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 & Analytics. Computer Weekly: Microsoft outlines five-year plan for accessibility tech 1 in 5 employers have stated that they would be less likely to hire someone if they were disabled. A damning and worrying statistic highlighting the severe disability divide that still exists in the working world.  In a bid to help put a stop to this serious lack of inclusion, Microsoft have teamed up with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to train up to 26,000 members of staff and work coaches to help them create a more accessible recruitment and working experiences for those with disabilities.  The three key areas of focus for Microsoft include: Educating workers to have a better understanding of accessibility.Showing how applied sciences can be used to create opportunities for all.Dedicating its cause to constructing inclusive office environments, whether on or offline. Brilliantly summed up by Brad Smith, Microsoft President: “Our work begins by guaranteeing that Microsoft’s personal merchandise are accessible by design, in order that as we advance our options and performance, we can assist everybody throughout the spectrum of incapacity be extra productive.” Read more on this fantastic story here.  Analytics India Mag: Why Data Engineering is the fastest growing tech job in 2021 As a result of COVID-19, businesses have had to work hard to not only navigate the ‘new normal’ but thrive in it. Remaining relevant and staying one step ahead of the competition has been, and will continue to be, crucial – and for this reason alone, Data Engineering is undoubtedly going to the fastest growing sector this year and perhaps beyond.  During this year’s SkillUp event, Sourav Saha, academic dean at Praxis Business School, and Prasad Srinivasa, assistant vice president at Genpact, spoke about the exciting career opportunities in data engineering. In a world driven by data, it is crucial that companies are using the data they have available to drive the success of their business. From being able to forecast future trends to gather consumer sentiment, data, and data engineers, will undoubtedly drive business success. Srinivasa highlights the three key roles he is expecting to emerge and boom over the next 6 – 12 months: Data OrchestrationData Architecture and Governance Data Strategy To read more on what to expect for the future of Data Engineers, click here.  Silicon Republic: How to ensure your Life Science career thrives after COVID Life Sciences became the saviour of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those within the sector worked tirelessly to create and deliver vaccines around the world, giving us all the hope we needed to get to the end of this crisis.  However, once we finally see the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Life Science specialists beg the question – what next? How do we continue to thrive in our careers and any future prospects post-pandemic? This insightful article from Silicon Republic highlights five key steps to ensure specialists can be prepared to take the next steps in their working journey once the dust has settled.  1. Take control and be proactive Before you do anything else, take proactive steps to look at the opportunities your current employer might be able to present you. Don’t be afraid to put yourself forward.  2. Look for innovation As the whole world adapts to the new normal, it’s more than likely your company is going to innovate to stay one step ahead of the competition. Explore where this innovation is likely to happen and put ideas forward to spearhead change.  3. Upskill across the board From those harder skills, such as technical knowledge, to softer skills, such as communication and empathy, will all need to be revisited and boosted as we come out of the pandemic. Make sure you take your learning into your own hands and show initiative.  4. Reflect on your career options If you’re ready to make the move away from where you are, make sure you’ve got a clear idea of what it is you want next before taking the leap. Tailor your CV, brush up on your knowledge and don’t be afraid to engage with a recruiter if you need guidance.  5. Learn how to present well in remote interviews  Computer to computer isn’t the same as face-to-face. Get up to speed with online etiquette and make the best first impression.  Read the full article here.  TechBullion: 3 sectors revolutionised by AI The pandemic has accelerated many businesses uptake and implementation of AI. But which sectors have we seen reap the most reward from this fantastic technology? TechBullion explores.  Insurance: Insurance firms have seen AI boost customer satisfaction like never before. Whether that’s through faster processing of claims, a reduction in fraud or improving loss prevention, AI has been making the sector smoother and more efficient.  Entertainment: The likes of Netflix and Spotify have taken AI and used it to transforms how they service consumers. With many users wanting a service that provides a seamless, efficient, and relevant experience, entertainment platforms have been able to create software that can learn personal preferences and offer timely suggestions based on users evolving needs and wants.   Education: The use of AI within education has become vast. From making every day learning easier through AI-based games that can be tailored to all learning types and needs to the personalisation of students’ curriculum depending on the results of past tests – the abilities are endless.  To read more on this, visit TechBullion 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.       

365 Days of The Dialogue

It’s a year to the day, that we launched The Dialogue, Harnham’s LinkedIn LIVE series focussing on the challenges the data & analytics industry faces, hiring, career growth and a myriad of other technical discussions. Episode One is where it all began. Featuring the Data Society’s Nisha Iyer and Nupur Neti. Harnham’s Tim Jonas was in the host chair as they discussed their collaboration with OurStreets, on a real-time grocery-sourcing app, and how you can continue to develop and improve your data knowledge while in lockdown. Since then we’ve gone on to run a further 31 events, in multiple languages, with over 150,000+ viewers joining across the globe; and more than 2,000 of you asked a question to our panellists! There have been some amazing guests joining us in the virtual studio – you can catch them all here – but I wanted to pick out a couple of personal favourites from the past 12 months: Data, Rest & Relaxation  Like many people across the globe, my lockdown led to more visceral dreams. We’d been talking about it in Harnham Team conversations, with friends and reading various articles into why. So, we wanted to get to the bottom of it. In this LIVE, with McElla Pappas and Rockwell Shah, CEO of the million-downloaded Sleep App PZIZZ, we took your questions about the science and Data behind our sleeping patterns during the lockdown.  Hiring and Being Hired in Data Science If you don’t follow Eric Webber on Linkedin I suggest you do so now, for brilliant, daily insight into the minds of hiring managers. This LIVE was responsible for around 100 questions from the audience and held together by our very own LinkedIn LIVE Pro, Jenni Kavanagh. The title says it all. The ‘Thank You’ messages we received off the back of the advice we gave out, were truly heart-warming. Positive impact at its best! A Career in Data This career Q&A with Karla Guerra and Amy Gershkoff Bolles, PhD, GM & CDO was utterly fascinating. Amy has played a key role at a number of the world's biggest companies including eBay, Ancestry, WPP and at the time of filming the LIVE at Bit.ly. On top of that, she was also Head of Media Planning & Analytics at Obama for America and taught at UC Berkeley for three years! This made her uniquely positioned to discuss what a modern career in Data looks like, from the grassroots to senior leadership! Inspiring stuff! FinTech Firsts & A New Generation When I heard we’d managed to get Mary Kemi Agbesanwa to feature on The Dialogue, I was very excited. And, I was not disappointed. There is no wonder that she was selected for Innovate Finance's Women in Fintech Powerlist 2020-21, McKinsey Next Generation Women Leader 2020 and No.1 on EMpower and Yahoo Finance’s Future Leader List 2020! Alongside host Conor Larkin (and his daffodils), she gave incredible insight into the industry that is set to change rapidly over the next few years, and what this means for a new generation of Millennial and Gen Z professionals entering the workplace. Staying Data Secure While Working Flexibly Strawberries and Cream. Collymore and Roy (niche reference for the late 90's Nottingham Forest fans out there!). Batman and Robin. Great duos. But, not a patch on Ryan Collins, Head of DevSecOps at Upvest and Peter Schroeter, when it came to talking about Data Security. So admired were their backgrounds, they came back together the following month by popular demand. Rumours of a Podcast are still just rumours at this point sadly… Special Mention… The US Data & Analytics Salary Guide Launch We’ve been really lucky with almost zero technical hitches but how do you launch the biggest Data & Analytics Salary Guide in the world? Live of course! What happens when you do things live? Things go wrong...Shout out to Sam Jones and McElla Pappas for being total pro’s when the power went out in Stephanie Brooks, Bay Area neighbourhood, literally as we pushed the button to go LIVE! Lastly, I just want to take a moment to say a few thank yous: First up, to all our viewers and those that have engaged with these LIVE sessions. We’ve been so grateful for your questions, comments and feedback. You make these sessions what they are and as long as you keep watching, we'll keep doing them!Next, to all our guests from the past 12 months, who gave up their time for free, to share their knowledge of the Data & Analytics industry with our audience. This was often early mornings or late nights to accommodate different time zones, we are indebted to you for the success of The Dialogue.And, who can forget the multiple members of the Harnham Team? They worked tirelessly to get panellists, hosted the sessions and kept their cool as we pushed them LIVE to a Global Audience. Hat Tip to Hannah and Tony at LinkedIn for hooking us up, as one of the first recruiters in EMEA to get access to the LIVE platform.A final special mention must go to the man behind the scenes, that makes these events possible, Ben Jones. Never seen on camera (yet!) but his hard work in the production booth is the glue that keeps it all together and makes them run so well! If you’d like to take part in a LIVE or have a story/angle that you think we should cover – feel free to get in touch and connect directly here. Here’s to another 12 months and I promise you there is something special in the pipeline for later in 2021!

This Is Why You Shouldn't Misunderstand The Capabilities Of Your Data & Insights

The value of the Big Data Analytics market will soon surpass $200 billion. In fact, it’s set to be worth $229.4 Billion by 2025. So, as organisations invest into how they use data to engage with their consumers, and as growth in the industry continues, there comes a unique opportunity for marketers across the globe to capitalise on the power of data. Yet, with such an overwhelming amount of data at our fingertips, knowing how (or the best way), in which to harness data use within organisations can cause barriers to organisational success. For marketing teams, in order to pull on the capabilities of data, there are a few key areas to consider to make sure that you don’t misunderstand Data & Insights. Get up to speed on data literacy For professionals entering the industry at a more junior level, or with less experience than their colleagues, taking the time to get up to speed on data literacy is crucial.  Get some exposure to a range of experiences, skills and wider trends in the industry, networking with and making use of the insights and expertise of the people around you to become an agile and data-driven marketing professional. In doing this, you have the ability to understand what the purpose and value is when extracting data and applying this to strategic campaign plans. Data is a tool, not the answer With so much data at our fingertips, it can be a challenge to determine exactly what you need to pull from this to propel a project or campaign forward. Marketers should be looking to insights to curate or inform ideas – you won’t find this in cold, hard data. It was particularly interesting to see this point echoed by Pinterest’s CMO Andréa Mallard recently, “When it comes to insights work, some marketers are missing the mark by gathering huge amounts of data and expecting to find a strategy within it”. Working through sheets and sheets of data won’t give you the answer. Yet, in recognising that what works is a combination of utilising data and exploring consumer trends alongside understanding what your audience need from the organisation, marketing teams can use data effectively and as part of a broader strategy. Explore how you make decisions Improved decision-making can be attributed to data-driven methods of marketing, particularly when it comes to attracting customers. Data has the capability of providing unique insight into consumer habits, which can inform how organisations reach new audiences in the future. Achieving this means relying on data just that little bit more. Allow your decisions to be driven by what your Data & Insights are telling you. In ignoring it or misunderstanding it, you’re closing off what could be a fruitful and successful avenue in the organisation. Take the time to learn about how data can impact your work and seek external specialists to support this process too. An organisation’s ability to collect, organise, analyse and react to data will be the thing that sets them apart from their competitors, especially in what we expect to become an increasingly competitive market. As data is used to inform how an organisation interacts with its consumers, operates its processes or reaches new Marketing & Insights teams, it’s vital that business leaders ensure that their marketers are truly part of the data-driven culture and mindset that an organisation adopts. If you're looking for your next Data & Analytics role or are seeking the best candidates on the market, 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.

Weekly News Digest: 19th - 23rd April 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 & Analytics.      Silicon republic: 5 things you need to know about Facebook’s new audio features There have been murmurs for a while now that Facebook was planning to launch a new range of audio features to enhance the experience for users of the platform. This move has now been confirmed, most likely as a result of the stiff competition Facebook has come up against from tools such as Zoom, Teams and more recently, Clubhouse. There are a whole host of established tech platforms that are already embracing (and continue to embrace) more audio solutions, thereby contributing to a more accessible, interactive and inclusive experience for users. So, for Facebook, the planned additions over the coming months include: There will be audio-creation toolsYou’ll be able to make SoundbitesPodcasts are coming to the appYou’ll get to listen to live conversationsUsers can make money through Facebook audio Read the full story here.  International Banker: How the financial industry is using natural language processing The financial industry is beginning to lean into using natural language processing (NLP). Why? Well, firms across the finance market are increasingly relying on data and information to obtain a marginal edge, and the benefits that NLP presents cannot be underestimated. In this article from International Banker, Alexander Jones discusses how, “Whether for efficiency and accuracy gains in the compliance and back-office divisions or opportunities to explore new, untapped sources of alpha for fund managers, the powerful capabilities of NLP look set to help transform the finance industry permanently.” According to a research report from Quince Market Insights, the global NLP market was valued at US$9.2 billion in 2019, and with continued growth and advancements in its capability set to increase, it’s a good opportunity for the financial industry to adapt and enhance their own services. To read more on this topic, click here. Marketing Week: The pandemic has forced brands to shift from insight to intelligence Writing for Marketing Week, Andrew Geoghegan, the global head of consumer media planning at Diageo, looks at how the pandemic has forced an overhaul of research tools and approaches, making them quicker, more accessible and more focused on both long- and short-term KPIs. “We need insight at pace but with quality and consistency, and more time for interpretation and implications.” Some of the major points from this interesting article explore the importance of the marketing and insight function within a business to focus on the short term, while anticipating the long term. This involves being ‘agile’ and crafting strategy that allows business leaders to act efficiently with this intelligence. Geoghegan also notes the importance of a two-speed mindset, simple, focused KPIs, information curation, new research processes and future-focused insight teams. To read the full article, visit the website here.  ITProPortal: Most business intelligence software isn't getting used Investing in technology and tools with which you can enhance the service your organisation provides, is critical, particularly so over the past year. However, as ITProPortal outlines, businesses are investing large sums of money into Business Intelligence (BI) software, only to have it collect virtual dust on their systems. Research from MHR Analytics states that just four percent of all BI software is being actively used. For a fifth of businesses, more than a quarter of their BI software lies idle. That's despite the collective $7.8 billion spent on data analytics tools by UK businesses. The article continues to discuss how BI gives them a competitive edge, and further research has highlighted that 64 per cent of business leaders use it for that reason. So, why aren’t firms making the most of these tools? Nick Felton, Senior Vice President at MHR Analytics has suggested that this is because “IT leaders need software and implementation partners who understand their needs better, match their exact requirements and are ready to provide the right level of training.” It’s important that decision-makers within the business work side by side with technical staff to ensure that business intelligence tools are used effectively. To read more about this, click 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.     

The Five Ws Of Becoming A Data Scientist

The demand for Data Scientists has dramatically increased over the past five years. Research has shown that skills such as Data Science, SQL databases, Big Data and Machine Learning have been the most sought after by British employers in this period, with demand tripling by over 200 per cent.  This growth has been accelerated since the start of the pandemic. As businesses faced an unprecedented crisis, with no prior knowledge of how to manage, adapt or survive, leaders needed to turn to data to make informed business decisions to help them navigate the unknown.  Even though we are already now on the path to economic recovery, this need for data-driven knowledge won’t dissipate any time soon. From being able to create in-depth risk forecasts to gathering consumer sentiment, creating intelligent solutions, and using automation to reduce bottom-line costs; Data Science’s role will continue to be the backbone of success as companies steer through this ‘new normal’.  Nevertheless, despite the ever-growing appetite for Data Scientists and the number of available roles and opportunities escalating day-by-day, businesses are coming up against the brick wall of a shortage of specialists. According to IBM, Data Science roles remain unfulfilled for 45 days or longer and the UK is having to combat a £2bn Data skills shortage.  So, as a student, graduate or current Data Scientist looking to move into a more niche role, what are the key traits, skills and experiences, or the five Ws, you need to have to ensure you not only land your dream job, but help plug the increasing skills gap? Who can be a Data Scientist? Anyone can train to become a Data Scientist, and the industry is working hard at improving its attraction and retention of a diverse workforce.  Despite traditionally being a very male-dominated sector, research Harnham undertook in August 2020 found that Data & Analytics’ gender divide is slowly but surely closing. 30 per cent of women now make up the industry, a big leap from 18 per cent in 2019.  What skills do you need? Data Scientists are traditionally required to have at least an undergraduate Bachelors’ degree, usually across science, technology, or statistics. However, the majority will continue to go on to get a Master’s (88 per cent) or PHD (46 per cent) level qualifications.   Nonetheless, as more businesses have become attuned to how this level of education can cause significant gaps in the number of diverse candidates, other routes into the industry have been made available, such as apprenticeships and work experience.  Technical skills will also stand you in brilliant stead, from coding languages to machine learning and AI techniques. While not a must-have, a lot of employers, especially post-COVID, will be looking to hire talent that can get started without too much training.  When should I apply for a role? In this new normal, as mentioned, employers are looking for candidates who are ‘work-ready’. So, to position yourself above the rest of the competition, make sure you apply for roles when your skills and knowledge are at the highest standard they can be.    Where could I work as a Data Scientist? The pandemic has completely skewed the normal working routines of most industries, but especially Data Science. Whereas, usually, the most attractive jobs would be based in London, now, with the correct equipment and support in place, those working within the field can work from anywhere, paving the way for a much more flexible workforce and a steep increase in remote working.   Why should I work as a Data Scientist? As a Data Scientist, you’ll never be short for opportunities. As more and more businesses look to implement Data Science into their working model to help make data-driven decisions which not only provide clarity but help reduce costs and positively affect the bottom-line, demand for skilled professionals will only grow.   Of course, job security isn’t the only perk of becoming a Data Scientist: You can also expect to receive a competitive salary.You’ll be part of an exciting and ever-evolving industry, no two days will ever be the same.Your skillset will mean you’re never limited – the business world is your oyster!  Data Science is an extremely varied career path to take, and its role within society has grown vastly, especially over the past year. For anyone looking to enter the industry, plug the skills gap or embark on something completely new, this could be a step in the right direction for you.  If you're interested in working in Data Science, or building out your team, 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. 

Weekly News Digest: 12th - 16th April 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 & Analytics.      Express Pharma: The five biggest data challenges for life sciences Life Sciences has grown exponentially over the past 12 months. As the COVID-19 pandemic devastated the world, Life Science companies were in a race against time to create a life-changing vaccine and help us all back on the road to recovery.  In 2019, the Life Science market was valued at around $7.5bn. After this year’s influx of activity, the market is estimated to grow by over double in the next decade, reaching $18bn by 2030.  However, despite the positive growth the industry has had, this doesn’t mean Life Sciences will be free of challenges. In fact, with such a spike in the amount of data held by so many Life Science companies as they tried to work on a vaccine, data storage is now one of the main concerns for anyone working within the field.  In this article by Express Pharma, Vimal Venkatram, Country Manager for Snowflake India, highlights the five key data hurdles Life Sciences will continue to have to overcome in the following decade. These include data performance, data exchange and collaboration, data quality, data management and scaling, and regulatory compliance.  Read the full story here.  Harnham: How can organisations tap into the huge pool of neurodiverse data talent? For many companies, the past year has led to an increased focus on diversity and inclusion within businesses – a fantastic step forward. However, when we think of diversity, we usually assume people are talking about gender, ethnicity, sexuality and perhaps even physical disability. One area that is regularly missed from discussion is that of neurodiversity.  An umbrella term coined by sociologist, Judy Singer, neurodiversity can cover a wide range of neurological conditions such as dyslexia, autism, ADHD, ADD and dyspraxia. Our head of internal recruitment, Charlie Waterman, explores why neurodiverse talent shouldn’t be overlooked, and how Data & Analytics specifically can do more to tap into and harness this incredible pool of talent.` Exploring how employers can create a smooth recruitment process, successful onboarding programmes and retention schemes, this article highlights how all of this can be tailored to be accessible for anyone with an invisible disability. To read more on this topic, click here. Computer Weekly: What has a year of homeworking meant for the DPO? Employers in a significant number of industries across the world have had to uproot from the office to working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many of these employers, it appears that remote working, or a hybrid model of working, will become the norm post-pandemic.  But what has this sudden shift meant for the likes of Data Protection Officers (DPOs)? Most of these professionals have had to get to grips with managing and handling sensitive data from the comfort of their own living room. According to data from IBM, 70 per cent of DPOs believe that the shift to remote working will increase the likelihood of data breaches. So how can DPOs enjoy the benefits and perks of working from home, without the stress of poorly managed or breached data? In this article by Computer Weekly, steps are outlined on how DPOs can work closely with IT teams to minimise any data risk that could happen. This includes: Not allowing DPOs access to everything if it’s not necessaryDiscouraging local storage of dataRegularly reviewing security standards To read the full article, visit the website here.  Solutions Review: The three best Data Engineering books on our reading lists There’s no better feeling than getting stuck into a really good book. Not only can it be a great way to escape the stresses of everyday life, but by continuously absorbing new information, your knowledge on a specific subject can grow immensely.  Any branch of Data & Analytics, but especially Data Engineering, requires employees to always be thinking one step ahead, staying on top of new trends and keeping up to date with specific coding languages. While everyone learns in very different ways, reading is a brilliant education tool. Whether you’re a visual learner, an auditory learner or a reading learner, books and audiobooks could be the key to expanding your knowledge.  Solutions Review provides Data Engineers with three of the best books on the market at the moment to help you keep on top of your professional development. Data Driven Science and Engineering by Brunton and KutzData Engineering with Python by Crickard An introduction to agile Data Engineering by using data vault 2.0 by Graziano To read more about each of these books, click 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.    

How Can Organisations Tap Into The Huge Pool Of Neurodiverse Data Talent?

Ensuring that our workplaces are thriving with a diverse range of talent is, rightly, a topic that many organisations are focussing on. Yet, for the most part, this dialogue is centred around gender, ethnicity, sexuality and perhaps even physical disability. It is fairly uncommon therefore to see close attention given to exploring the challenges surrounding neurodiversity in organisations around the globe. Generally speaking, the term neurodiversity encompasses autism, attention deficit disorders, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia and other neurological conditions. To hear a range of diverse viewpoints and perspectives is to contribute to an inclusive society and organisation. Leaving neurodiversity aside is no longer acceptable. Our research in the US highlights how 26 per cent of US adults have some form of disability, yet disabled individuals only account for 3.5 per cent of those working in Data & Analytics. As the global skills shortage worsens, it stands to reason that businesses will want to access this previously untapped talent pool. We know that in the UK, 56 per cent of organisations continue to experience skills shortages and in the US, two-thirds of employers hiring for full-time, permanent employees say they can’t find qualified talent to fill open jobs. An often-overlooked area of diversity is the impact a disability can have on an individual’s professional career. It’s no secret that all organisations would like to construct the best team – but are you doing enough to consider underrepresented talent? Creating a smooth recruitment and interview process One of the first barriers that neurodiverse candidates may encounter when seeking to enter an organisation is the recruitment and interview process. For these individuals, undergoing testing in this way puts pressure on communication skills, a tool that often allows us to better understand, connect and empathise with one another. When it comes to the recruitment process, the traditional in-person interview process — which assesses communication skills and personality fit — can be difficult to negotiate for neurodiverse candidates. In fact, this can be said to have been heightened by the pandemic too. The switch to virtual interviewing has added a new challenge to how neurodiverse candidates are able to participate in the process as miscommunication and interruptions come into the picture. For employers, tapping into the pool of data professionals with these invisible disabilities requires them to take the stress out of the interview and assessment process. It is critical to consider someone’s potential ability to do the job and the core skills that they have linking directly to the role on offer. Onboard a successful neurodiverse candidate efficiently Regardless of the size of an organisation, from global corporation to growing SME, they all share the same need to onboard new hires successfully and with limited disruption. It is this process that begins the relationship between an employee and an employer and although there will have been interactions through the recruitment process, it is the initial welcome into the organisation that will set the tone for the relationship moving forward. For neurodiverse employees this can be a daunting prospect; meeting new people while also familiarising themselves with a new environment and routine requires ongoing support and help from the employer. There are a number of ways that organisations can make this easier, from in-person or virtual meetings with smaller groups of the team to scheduled one-to-one chats with colleagues, the first few steps can be made more comfortable by promoting an inclusive culture. However, as there are such wide-ranging differences between neurodiverse conditions and individual requirements, employers need to implement policies that are tailored and highly individualised. Creating such policies and programmes can be complex and time-consuming, but it is critical to include your team in this. Ultimately it will boost your bottom line and the array of perspectives and views that are shared within the organisation. Retaining neurodiverse employees Neurodiverse candidates are capable, intelligent and have creative-thinking minds. To ensure their tenure within an organisation is lengthy and successful, we need to support these professionals and equip them with the tools and support they need to thrive. A standardised approach will not satisfy every need, and so it is important that every person in your organisation is accommodated as far as possible. The importance of this could not be clearer, as the BIMA Tech Inclusion & Diversity Report details how neurodivergent employees are more likely to be impacted by poor mental health (84 per cent against 49 per cent for neurotypical workers). This suggests that beyond attracting neurodiverse talent into the organisation, employers need to focus on the quality of the experience within the team. For example, take the time to book in regular meetings between the employee and their line manager. This will ensure that projects run smoothly, and any concerns or questions can be raised in a controlled environment. Listen to your team and their lived experiences to make informed and accurate plans to facilitate their growth within the team. After all, each employee brings a set of unique skills to a company. As more organisations realise the benefits of hiring neurodivergent candidates into their teams, employers have to act quickly to make routes into the business as accessible as possible. Ultimately, hiring neurodiverse people makes complete business sense. We know that diverse teams perform better, so now is the time to step up and tap into the huge pool of neurodiverse data talent. If you’re in the world of Data & Analytics and looking to take a step up or find the next member of your team, we can help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.

Boost Your Career: Get Recognised At The "Oscars Of Data"

Data IQ, the leading membership business for connecting, educating and supporting the Data & Analytics community, have opened their annual DataIQ Awards for entries. Now in their 9th year, and often referred to as the "Oscars of Data", there are 24 awards across five focus areas recognising companies, individuals and teams that have demonstrated excellence in the Data & Analytics industry over the pasts 12 months.  Last year’s winners include Aviva, NatWest Group, Samsung Europe, The Open University, Unilever, Vodafone, Warner Media and Zurich Insurance. Entrants will have their work will be assessed by over 30 senior client-side judges, exclusively selected from the DataIQ 100 list of most influential people in data-driven business and past DataIQ Award winners.  In addition to being assessed by respected data leaders, nominees will benefit from the enhanced pre- and post-awards programme, which offers greater recognition & profile-building opportunities. Plus, nominees will have the opportunity to celebrate at a prestigious gala awards dinner on 30th September in Central London together with many of the biggest names and brands in data-driven business…. “The impact of the DataIQ Awards is fantastic; it recognises the hard work of the teams, it's a morale booster and really puts data firmly on the map, showing how critical it is.” Zurich Insurance - 2020 DataIQ Award Winner The early bird discount ends in two weeks, so don’t miss out on getting recognised as an award-winning team and shining a spotlight on your hard work. You can enter here.Data & Analytics teams have played no small part in keeping businesses growing and innovating throughout the last 12 months. If you're looking to celebrate your data team, the DataIQ Awards are the way to recognise and champion the great work their doing.

Weekly News Digest: 5th - 9th April 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 & Analytics.    The Drum: How data visualisation turns marketing metrics into business intelligence Gathering data is just one part of a marketer’s job but having the ability to turn this data into something visually stunning, informative and easy to use is another skill completely.  Marketers, on the whole, are extremely visual learners along with around 65 per cent of the population. Most of us are able to absorb data more effectively if the information being presented to us is done in such a way that is pleasing to the eye. And this is why Data Visualisation exists; it allows us to group, organise and represent data sets in a way that allows us to analyse larger quantities of information, compare findings, spot patterns and extract meaningful insights from raw data. Not only does Data Visualisation allow us to learn more effectively, but we can then turn this understanding into much broader and deeper Business Intelligence.  To read more on the positives of Data Visualisation and how to translate this into meaningful Business Intelligence, click here.  ZDNet: The five Vs of customer data platforms According to ZDNet, Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) are the hottest marketing technology today, offering companies a way to capture, unify, activate, and analyse customer data. Research done in 2020 by Salesforce showed that CDPs were among the highest priority investments for CMOs in 2021. If you’re planning to invest in a CDP this year, what five critical things do you need to think about when developing a successful strategy? ZDNet tells all.  Velocity - Your systems need to manage a high volume of data, coming in at various speeds.Variety - Every system has a slightly different main identifier or "source of truth," and the goal is to have one. This starts with being able to provision a universal information model, or schema, which can organize all of the differently labelled data into a common taxonomy. Veracity - Companies must ensure they can provision a single, persistent profile for every customer or account.Volume - It has been theorized that, in 2020, 1.7MB of data was created every second for every person on Earth. If you want to use those interactions to form the basis of your digital engagement strategy, you have to store them somewhere. Value - Once you have a clean, unified set of scaled data – now’s the time to think about how to derive value from it.  To learn more, read the full article here. Towards Data Science: How to Prepare for Business Case Interview Questions as a Data Scientist When you think of Data Science, the first thing that comes to mind will be technical knowledge of coding languages and fantastic statistical ability; softer skills such as communication and exceptional business knowledge may be overlooked. However, this is where many budding Data Scientists trip up. It is these softer skills and business acumen that sets brilliant candidates apart from others.  But how, when not usually taught at university, do you gather the business knowledge that will set you apart from the competition and showcase it in interview? Towards Data Science shares a few key pointers. Build a foundation – Brush up on your business basics. Research project management methodologies, organisational roles, tools, tech and metrics - all are crucial here. Company specifics – Research your company and its staff. Make sure your knowledge is tailored to the company you’re interviewing for. Products – This is where you’ll stand out above the rest if you get it right. The more you can know the ins and outs of products and metrics at the company, the more prepared you will be to answer business case questions. Read the full article here.  Harnham: Amped up Analytics: Google Analytics 4 Joshua Poore, one of our Senior Managers based in the US West division of Harnham, explores Google’s new and improved data insight capabilities, predominantly across consumer behaviours and preferences.  This exciting new feature of Google was born in the last quarter of 2020 and has now fully come into its infancy, and it’s an exciting time for Data & Analytics specialists across the globe. Joshua explores four key advantages of Google Analytics 4.0. Combined data and reporting - Rather than focusing on one property (web or app) at a time, this platform allows marketers to track a customer’s journey more holistically. A focus on anonymised data - By crafting a unified user journey centred around machine learning to fill in any gaps, marketers and businesses have a way to get the information they need without diving into personal data issues.Predictive metrics - Using Machine Learning to predict future transactions is a game changer for the platform. These predictive metrics for e-commerce sites on Google properties allow for targeted ads to visitors who seem most likely to make a purchase within one week of visiting the site. Machine Learning driven insights - GA4 explains it “has machine learning at its core to automatically surface helpful insights and gives you a complete understanding of your customers across devices and platforms.” Machine Learning-driven insights include details that elude human analysts.  To read Joshua’s full insights on GA4, click 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.   

How Are Life Science Analytics Innovating For A Post-Pandemic World?

As COVID-19 unfolded, the Life Science discipline was thrust into the spotlight. The pandemic has shown the extent of the Life Sciences industry’s ability to innovate and collaborate. When facing a new disease, Life Sciences adapted quickly. The rate at which pharmaceutical companies successfully developed COVID-19 vaccines was unprecedented. Approaches that may have previously been labelled risky, were implemented to manage changing demand and deliver increased throughput. Embracing digitisation and innovation enabled organisations to adapt and accept constant change. The pandemic has shown just how well the Life Science industry is able to innovate and develop according to changing demands. As the world looks to the future, how can Life Sciences continue to remain dynamic?  Cloud data The cloud is becoming a CEO agenda item for Life Sciences. The cloud has the potential to enable more effective and profitable ways of doing business throughout the life science industry. It offers a powerful, secure platform for innovation and collaboration, with immense transactional power and data throughput. The cloud is necessary for creating data enablement, ensuring the right data is in the right place at the right time. It enables companies to innovate faster, work at a greater scale and increase collaboration.  Virtual communication According to Accenture, sixty-one per cent of healthcare professionals now communicate more with pharmaceutical sale reps than before the pandemic. 87 per cent now want either purely virtual or a blend of in-person and virtual meetings post-pandemic.  New means of virtual communication have created new opportunities in the industry. Digitisation allows for increased communication with trial participants and new opportunities to educate people about their conditions and care. There was already a growing trend for virtual healthcare interactions, but the pandemic has shifted this is into becoming the new normal. Collaboration ecosystem COVID-19 has led to increasing collaboration between companies. The race for a vaccine has seen cooperation evolve at an extraordinary pace. Companies who usually compete are now coming together to share data and cooperate. Organisations have created collaborative agreements in a matter of weeks; partnerships that pre-pandemic would have taken years to create.  The industry is now seeing the value of ecosystem partnership. The success of organisations post-pandemic relies on this continued collaboration.  AI and blockchain technology COVID-19 has increased the focus on AI in Life Sciences. Yet, Life Sciences have only scratched the surface of AI capabilities. AI has the potential to transform the industry; it can design novel compounds, identify genetic targets, expedite drug development and improve supply chains. The use of AI in Life Sciences is expected to continue to grow and organisations will need to focus ever more on merging human knowledge and AI capabilities.  Blockchain is also becoming increasingly trusted in Life Sciences. Its ability to create tamper-proof records makes it a key resource in increasing patient trust in remote clinical trials. As more of the industry understands the skills needed to use blockchain and increases collaboration, blockchain has the potential to become ubiquitous in Life Sciences. The pandemic has shown the importance of digital technology in Life Sciences. Digitisation increases efficiency and, collaboration, and also helps create a framework for future scientific discoveries. As we look towards a post-pandemic world, a successful Life Science industry must continue to embrace this mindset of innovation, collaboration and dynamism.  If you’re in the world of Data & Analytics and looking to take a step up or find the next member of your team, we can 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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