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How To Get The Most Out Of Your Recruiter

As a recruiter I’ve had some great relationships with candidates over the years. I view these relationships like partnerships and an ideal partnership is one where communication is natural and transparent.  Some partnerships have worked better than others, and I’ve seen some common denominators in the ones that work (and the ones that don’t). Let me preface this with one thing:  We want to help you get the job.   However, we are working with specific guidelines and role requirements. Sometimes that means we have to give feedback to you and let you know that you’re not qualified or you’re not exactly what our client is looking for.  When I give this kind of feedback it is because we are trying to help you streamline your efforts towards processes that you will nail, and ultimately get you a job that you’re happy with. If you’re looking for your next job and would like to collaborate with a recruiter, my biggest tip would be that in order to get the most out of you recruiter you should: BE HONEST About your salary expectations Salary can be a taboo subject. As your recruiter we need to know what salary you would be happy with because our clients have a budget that they need to stick to. By being open about what your current earnings are, and what you’d like to earn in your next role, we can make sure you don’t get an offer which is ultimately too low for you. Be 100% honest about your ambitions and current levels, and we will advocate for you all the way. About your current role and responsibilities When we chat, I’ll often ask a lot of questions and try to get a lot of detail. Speaking to a recruiter can feel like an interview, but we’re not trying to trip you up. We’re trying to find out what you’re doing right now – all of it. Not because your next job is going to be the same, but because we need to find out how transferrable what you’re doing right now is to our client and if you’re able to take on a new set of skills.  We also use this conversation to assess your communication skills, and if you’re unable to explain what your current role involves then we can work together on your interviewing technique. About other processes that you’re in Sometimes when I ask candidates about their other processes they feel uncomfortable. If you’re working with another recruiter or if you’ve already applied directly to one of my clients, that’s okay but I need to know so I can: Find out if you have impending offers that my clients should know about. Understand which roles you’ve been targeting and thus which types of businesses you naturally felt inclined to pursue (maybe I have similar roles at similar companies). Help you with time management and ensure you can prepare accordingly.  Avoid accidentally meddling in an existing process that you’re already in through a speculative conversation. 
About reasons you’re looking for opportunities Tell your recruiter why you’re on the market, so that we can make sure you’re not on the market again for the same reason in six months. That means you need to be honest about why you’re leaving! How else can I make sure that we’re alleviating your current frustrations? For example: Hate your manager? That’s too bad! What management style would you prefer? Do you want to learn a new skill? Let me find out which of my clients can help you. Looking for a more senior role? Which responsibilities would you like to have  Passionate about getting into driverless cars? I won’t tell you about my retail roles! Just curious? Absolutely fine – but that means we need to discuss the root of your curiosity in more detail so that we don’t talk about every job from here to the moon. The list goes on but the more detail I have, the more efficient I can be in selecting the right role based on your motivations. About your interview experience I’m not looking for one-liners when I ask about your most recent interview. I want to know how you're feeling, what you learnt, and more. Did the interview leave something to be desired? OK, how can I help you get your hands on it? If you already know you don’t want this job, that’s absolutely fine. But it would be great to know why so we can avoid similar situations.  Maybe you feel like you underwhelmed the interviewer and that you should have answered something differently? I can be your messenger after the fact, so you have another chance to get your message across. Ultimately, recruiters are here to support you through a stressful process. We want to make your search easier by being your agent. To make sure we are able to represent you to the best of our ability, we need a great candidate/recruiter relationship, a relationship that is honest and transparent.  As I mentioned at earlier, ultimately, we just want you to find the right role for you. If you’re looking for a role and would like to partner with a recruiter, take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch. 

Five Strategies To Modernise Your Workplace And Create A Smart Office

By Laura Gayle, BusinessWomanGuide.org Smart technology is rapidly reshaping society. From cloud storage and mobile access to the internet of things and artificial intelligence, what was once regarded as science fiction is steadily becoming reality. In response, many employers are finding ways to modernize their workplaces by creating smart offices — not because it looks cool or is the trendy thing to do, but because they've discovered that doing so provides several tangible benefits. New devices, apps, and AI-driven tools can not only make your office smarter, they also can position you for better marketing and sales efforts and provide competitive advantages in your industry. Additionally, creating a smart office offers both employees and customers a seamless experience and can attract talented millennial workers. Since millennials naturally adapt to tech innovations, they can assist in this transition to bring your company to the next level. Here are five strategies to modernise your workplace with smart tech. 1. Use cloud-based storage Cloud-based storage offers both convenience and efficiency. Many among today's workforce probably don't even realise there was a time when offices were full of filing cabinets and computer equipment. Now that mobile access has been fully integrated into nearly all workplaces, much of the bulky equipment that previously took up space is disappearing. Filing cabinets? Paper files? Things of the past. Workers today don't typically spend hours every week filing stacks of papers because most documents are digitised and stored in the cloud. Other cloud-based technologies, such as remote workplaces and managed print services, are replacing old ways of conducting business. Cloud technology has been a significant game-changer for the office environment. Not only are files and documents stored on the cloud, but also businesses are using cloud-based platforms as a part of their services or customer experiences. Think about how much “software as a service” (a model in which software is licensed and accessed remotely instead of being downloaded on a user’s computer) has become a standardised part of doing business. This is all thanks to cloud technology. As time moves forward, expect it to continue making a significant impact on the modern workplace and customer experience. 2. Invest in voice-activated devices Various well-known gadgets found in "smart” homes or apartments are now making strides in the office setting, too. For example, voice-activated products such as Siri, Echo, Alexa, and Nest are commonly found in the workplace, adding functionality by offering a seamless user experience. Employees speak and the equipment automatically does what is asked — no more fiddling with equipment and trying to get things up and running manually. Voice-activated tech also allows workers to multitask and get things done faster, such as: Coordinating and syncing calendars Sending data requests Ordering supplies Reporting problems to the appropriate departments Streamlining IT requests These are just a handful of the many tasks voice-activated tech can perform. Businesses have steadily begun to include these types of products to make conference rooms even smarter. While this concept isn't mainstream in the office quite yet, it's not hard to image it becoming the norm within the next few years as this tech fully matures. Companies focused on modernising their workplaces are jumping on the proverbial bandwagon to get a leg up on the competition. These companies will be well ahead of the game when such tech initiatives do eventually become standard in the office. 3. Use tech to put offices in the comfort zone As modern offices evolve into open-space floor plans, they've become more informal and far more flexible. With that concept in mind, offices today are more focused on comfort — a stark contrast to the drab cubicle environments of yesteryear. Shifting to the open-design work environment has been a challenge for many; however, businesses are finding ways to make this transition easier through smarter tech. Solutions they are integrating into their spaces include: Hue lighting Virtual reality meeting rooms 360-degree video conferencing Keyless entry Smart tools not only appeal to workers because of their convenience and "coolness" factor; they also serve the practical purposes of enhancing comfort, personalising the remote experience, and even preventing repetitive stress injuries. 4. Integrate tech innovations to enhance the customer experience Businesses are investing in smart technology, and customers are reaping the benefits. As companies streamline their operations and customer service processes, customers are widely experiencing the convenience and simplicity associated with smart tech. Here are some features they currently enjoy: Chatbots for instant two-way communication AI-based customer learning opportunitiesPersonalised insights and recommendations Automation and custom ordering  Cloud storage of customer information and preference history Many industries are relying on artificial intelligence to improve their services. Businesses that do not offer this level of tech to customers will soon find themselves unable to meet heightened consumer expectations. 5. Use AI to gain a competitive advantage Perhaps you don't want to go as far as microchipping your employees (yes, this is also a growing trend) or issuing them Segways, but there are a lot of other relatively new gadgets and AI-driven tools that can boost the "smartness" of your business — not to mention, amp up your competitive advantage. For instance, you can use AI to track the habits and patterns of your customer base while they spend time on your website and determine where they are in their "customer journey" with your brand. Armed with this information, you can customise their web experience, along with your communications to them.  This personalisation can go a long way in your marketing efforts. After all, 80 percent of consumers say they are "more likely" to do business with a company that is able to give them a personalised experience. It's also important to know that research indicates customers want way more than basic personalisation. Using smart tech can easily help you bring things up to the next level. Smart tech adds significant value to the modern office in many ways. It's unwise to purchase tech because it's trendy, but when integrated with purpose and vision, many company decision-makers find this investment offers significant benefits and, in the end, pays off nicely. Harnham are the global leaders in Data & Analytics recruitment. Take a look at our latest roles or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to learn more.  

2018 Top Five Data & Analytics News Stories

2018 has seen Big Data & Analytics come to the forefront on the public’s attention like never before. A series of scandals, new laws, and technological developments have opened up fresh conversations about who has access to our data, and what privacy really means in the 21st Century.  In a year with a lot of news, it’s no surprise that some of the biggest stories have had a major impact on the Data & Analytics marketplace. As 2018 comes to a close, we’ve pulled together five of the biggest stories that have not only had a huge impact this year, but will continue to have repercussions in 2019 and beyond.  #5. Apple Become the World’s First $1 Trillion Company At the beginning of August, Apple became the first company to be valued at $1 Trillion. A result of the launch of their premium iPhone X, they beat rivals Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet to the milestone. Initial fears that the death of Steve Jobs in 2011 would stall the company’s growth proved to be unfounded, highlighting that product and brand still play the largest role in consumer loyalty.  This achievement has raised the bar for what a tech company can achieve, and expect to see numerous others attempting to reach this level over the next decade. For an idea of what they’ll have to achieve, however, take a look at the New York Times’ visualisation of what a $1 Trillion value really means.  #4. Google Walk Out Over Women’s Rights Following the #MeToo movement coming to precedence in 2017, businesses are now being properly scrutinised for their treatment of women. From the gender pay gap, to cases of sexual harassment, people are demanding transparency and accountability. Within Data & Analytics, the protests at Google were the leading example.  Allegations surrounding the company’s handling of claims of sexual misconduct led to staff around the world walking out. Looking for several key changes, in particular the end of forced arbitration, employees highlighted Google’s key mission statement of ‘Don’t Be Evil’.  Diversity and equality will continue to take centre stage in the years to come, with smaller businesses likely to face similar amounts of scrutiny. We’ll be releasing our report on the state of Diversity in Data & Analytics in early 2019, so come back soon to get your copy.   #3. The Crypto Crash Having peaked at $19,783.06 in December ’17, 2018 saw Bitcoin, and numerous other cryptocurrencies, finally crash. Whilst this had been predicted for a while, it looks as though it may take some time for any of the currencies to gather any new momentum and regain stability.  Tough new restrictions in China, one of the biggest countries for crypto, as well as ICO Ad bans on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram will limit the number of new and returning buyers. Furthermore, initial moves into the mainstream, such as Barclay’s crypto trading project, appear to have stalled. In contrast to the past few years, the future of crypto is no longer looking so bright.  #2. GDPR Comes Into Play Anyone who works with any form of data couldn’t miss the introduction of GDPR, as it became enforced in April this year. A complete rewrite of the rules for data protection, we’re only beginning to see its true impact, as the first UK enforcement finally arrives.  Many industries are already feeling a more specific impact, however. In particular, those working in Ad Tech have found the new regulations to be frustratingly limiting to their capabilities. Despite these issues, this is far from the end of GDPR, as both the US and India look to introduce similar regulations in the not-too-distant future.  #1. THE CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA SCANDAL The biggest Data & Analytics story of the year is, undoubtedly, the Cambridge Analytica scandal. A watershed moment in the public’s perception of how their data is used, concern grew from privacy issues to potential large-scale election rigging. The resulting chaos has seen an immense amount of pressure on Facebook and, in particular, Mark Zuckerberg, who has been called in front of numerous governments. Whilst the outcomes don’t appear to have ultimately been too dire for Facebook as a business, the consequences of the scandal will continue to be felt for a long time to come.  Data breaches now regularly make headline news and the way we scrutinise how companies use our data is forever changed.  If you’re looking to make a big impact in 2019 and beyond, we may have a role for you. Check out our latest roles or get in touch with one of our specialist consultants. 

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

Data & Analytics have played a larger role in 2018 than ever before. A key talking-point, this year saw the Cambridge Analytica scandal, resulting in increased pressure on the biggest names in tech. With Mark Zuckerberg being summoned before various governments worldwide to answer privacy and security concerns, it’s unlikely that we’re going to stop talking about the impact of Big Data any time soon.  Fortunately, 2018 also appears to have been a turning point. Whilst we’ve seen a greater number of threats from Data, we’ve embraced the technology it supports more than ever before. As a result of this, 2019 is looking brighter than ever for the Data & Analytics landscape.  Easier Access to Data As businesses start to look at keeping their data closer to home, access has become more important than ever. Edge Computing has dramatically increased in popularity, and it doesn’t look like we’re going to see it slow down any time soon. BI Intelligence are estimating that, by the end of 2019, there will be 5.6 billion business-owned devices that access data in this way.  A result of the speed at which technology is advancing, Edge Computing is also seen as a more secure and private way to hold data. Whilst it was initially feared that the ‘Edge Will Eat the Cloud’, we’ve actually seen both perform strongly enough to stand on their own two feet. Far more than just being a stepping stone as we move away from Data Centres, we’ve seen Edge Computing play a role in everything from the Internet of Things, to everyday fuel efficiency. And, in 2019, we can expect it to play an even bigger role, as platforms emerge that will combine edge, multi-cloud and hybrid technologies. Smarter Tech Than Ever Before Whilst we all know that next year will introduce us to smarter technologies, they’re a few places where we can already some 2019 standouts. Natural Language Processing (NLP) has leapt forward over the past year and will continue its acceleration in 2019. Advances in Machine Learning (ML) will see BI tools feel the biggest benefit from this. In particular, the ability to ask programs questions around Data Visualisations and improve our insights will play a huge role.  Off the back of this, we’re likely to see Automated ML play a huge role. Falling between cognitive APIs and custom ML platforms, Auto ML will offer analysts the flexibility to deal with complex issues without having to go through the typical ML training process.  AI and ML will also revolutionise the DevOps world as 2019 sees AIOps become mainstream. This multi-layered technology will automate and streamline significant amounts of IT operations as the speed, and demand, of data continues to increase, but accountability remains the same.  Becoming a Better Society with Data Unsurprisingly, GDPR has had a huge impact on the Data & Analytics landscape in 2018. And, with the USA and India looking to embrace similar regulations in the new year, we’ll continue to feel the repercussions of this in 2019.  Companies are now no longer being assessed on the black and white of the legality of their practices, but how ethically they use the data they have access to. As a result of issues that have arisen over the past few years, how social media giants handle their data is now a leading discussion point during every major election. Whilst Facebook are already taking some steps to address this, expect to see the pressure on them and their contemporaries continue to increase in 2019.  It’s not only major networks that are having to adapt either. The number of leading businesses who now have their own data code of ethics has dramatically increased in the past few years and shows no signs of slowing. Plus, new technologies mean new risks and new principles. For example, as Facial Recognition technology becomes more and more prevalent, public concerns will lead to both fresh regulations but also increased responsibilities for firms.  However, it’s not all rules and regulations. The rise in the amount of Data we have has led to a rise in the possibility to utilise it for social good. Enterprises like Orange and The Hutch Data Commonwealth are looking at how we can share data and insights to achieve common goals and make the world a better place. Despite an increase in risks, 2019 is also offering a plethora of opportunities to use data for good.  If you’re looking to embrace the new and take on a fresh challenge in 2019, we can help. Take a look at our latest roles or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

Opportunity Knocks: Media Trading Desks Move In-House

It’s anticipated that by 2022, 80% of the advertising process will be automated. With the remainder of the process made up of elements that rely on human drivers, such as brand value and storytelling, we will have reached peak automation. Programmatic is playing a huge role in this transition, dominating the majority of mobile display and TV advertising. With the promise of more targeted ads, more and more marketers are pointing their budgets in this direction. The consequences of this, however, could have a lasting impact. Larger agencies are already introducing their own Programmatic teams, whilst Adobe believe that 62% brands will bring their media buying in-house by 2022, opening the door for an array of new opportunities. Moving Home There are several reasons that brands are choosing to bring their media buying in-house. First and foremost, with more and more budget directed towards Programmatic, the ability to automate their buying has a significant appeal. With the technology now available to do so, keeping this in-house has a number of benefits: Control: Brands can have greater control over how they spend their budget, giving them more autonomy over every stage of the process. Transparency: By owning their media buying, brands can gauge a better understanding of their ROI. Engagement: Customers continuously move from channel to channel. Keeping buying in-house helps brands keep up. Leverage: Brands can leverage their first-party data to create and execute in-house strategies. The last of these is particularly important. Following the introduction of GDPR, brands are under a significant amount of scrutiny regarding how they use customer data. By keeping this in-house, brands can have more control over how their data is both stored and used, without sharing it with third parties. Making the Investment Naturally, this change to the advertising landscape is already having implications across the wider industry. Sir Martin Sorrell, formerly of WPP, believes that brands moving in-house will be a “short lived trend” brought on by a reaction to “serious economic conditions”. However, this may not necessarily be the case. In addition to the benefits listed above, the significant investment required to move Programmatic in-house means that brands are likely to look to this as a longer-term solution.This not only involves investment in a DMP and the right technology but, more crucially, in building the right team. Without this team, any in-house venture is unlikely to succeed, regardless of technological investment. On Your Doorstep The good news is that this provides several new opportunities for Digital Analytics professionals. With 39% of Marketing Executives believing that a skills shortage is responsible for holding back Programmatic growth, there is a huge demand for the right talent, both permanent and contract. And, with this skills shortage, there is opportunity for Web and Marketing Analysts to expand their skillsets and move into the position of Media or Audience Analyst. By upskilling in media trading platforms such as AppNexus and DoubleClick, digital analysts can further enhance their expertise. When combined with the ability to visualise using Python or R they find themselves well positioned for some of the most in-demand roles around. If you’re looking for the opportunity to play an instrumental role in growing an in-house team, we may have a role for you. Take a look at our latest jobs, or get in touch by calling us on +44 20 8408 6070 or emailing info@harnham.com. This article was originally written for London MeasureCamp in September 2018. 

From Idea to Impact: How Charities Use Data

It’s that time of year again. As the festive season draws near and we pull together wish lists, many of us also begin to think about how we can give back. Given that the UK spent over £7 billion this Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, it’s not surprising that the idea of Giving Tuesday is becoming more and more popular.  But with 160,000 registered charities in the UK alone, institutions are turning to data to find new ways to stand out and make a greater impact.  Far from just running quarterly reports, charities are now utilising the insights they gain from data to inform their strategies, improve their services and plan for the future.  IDEAS Given that not every charity is lucky enough to go viral with an Ice Bucket Challenge style video, there is a need to find other ways to stand out in such a crowded market. As such, many are looking to the data they have collected to help create a strategy. Macmillan Cancer Support, one the UK’s biggest charities, wanted to see more success from one of their main fundraisers, ‘The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’. The event, which sees volunteers hold coffee and cake-fuelled gatherings across the country was revolutionised by data. By engaging with their database and researching what motivated fundraisers, they refocused their marketing around how the occasion could create an opportunity for people to meet up and chat, such as swapping ‘send for your free fundraising pack’ for ‘order your free coffee morning kit’. Whilst these amends may seem superficial, they had a major impact increasing funds raised from £15m to £20m.  Some brands have taken this idea even further, using Data & Analytics tools to engage with potential donors. Homelessness charity Cyrenians’ data told them that there were a number of misconceptions about rough sleepers, including 15% of people believing that they were homeless by choice. To counter this they created an AI chatbot, named Alex, that allowed users to ask questions they may not have been comfortable asking a real person.  Another charity using data tools to counter common misconceptions is Dyslexia Association. Their Moment of Dyslexia campaign saw them utilise facial recognition technology; the longer a person looked at their digital poster, the more jumbled up the words and letters became. By harnessing both insights and the technology made possible by data, they were able to offer an insight into what dyslexia is like for people who previously didn’t understand.  INDIVIDUALS A big issue facing a number of charities is trust. Following a series of recent scandals, the public are more sceptical than ever of how charities are run, and their use of data is no exception. This ‘trust deficit’ has resulted in vast amount of potential donors staying away, with recent research highlighting that only 11% of people are willing to share their data with a charity, even if it means a better service.  Whilst charities with effective Data Governance are able to use their vast amount of data to enhance those business, those who mismanage it are likely to suffer. Following a cyber-attack that exposed the data of over 400,000 donors, the British and Foreign Bible Society were fined £100,000. As hackers were able to enter the network by exploiting a weak password, this serves as a timely reminder that our data needs not only to be clean, but secure.  Financial implications aside, improper data usage can also do irreversible damage to a charity’s reputation. St Mungo’s has faced criticism for passing information about migrant homeless people to the Home Office, putting them at risk of deportation. Whilst they were cleared of any wrongdoing by the ICO, this controversial use of data has had a negative impact on the charity’s image. With a decline in the number of people donating to charity overall, anything that can put people off further is bad news.  IMPACT Whilst there is more demand than ever for charities to share their impact data, there is also more opportunity. With Lord Gus O’Donnell urging charities to make data an ‘organisation-wide priority’, many are going beyond publishing annual reports and fully embracing a culture shift. Youth charity Keyfund have been able to justify how the spend their funds based on their impact data. Having heard concerns from fundraisers regarding whether their leisure projects were effective they looked at the data they had gathered from the 6,000 young people they were helping. What they found was that not only were their leisure projects effective, they had an even more positive impact than their alternatives, particularly for those from the most deprived area. This allowed them to continue to support these programs and even increase funding where necessary. Going one step further are Street League, a charity that use sports programmes to tackle youth unemployment. Rather than share their impact data in quarterly, or even annual, reports they moved to real-time reporting. Interested parties can visit an ‘Online Impact Dashboard’ and see up-to-the-minute data about how the charity’s work is impacting the lives of the people it is trying to help. This not only allows for the most relevant data to be used strategically, but also supports the business holistically, gaining donor both attention and trust. To stand out in the charity sector institutions need to take advantage of data. Not only can this be used to generate campaigns and streamline services but, when used securely and transparently, it can help rebuild trust and offer a competitive edge.  If you want to make the world a better place by harnessing and analysing data, we may have a role for you. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to see how we can help you. 

Fighting Crime with Data: An Ethical Dilemma

Can you be guilty of a crime you’ve yet to commit? That’s the premise of Steven Spielberg’s 2002 sci-fi thriller ‘Minority Report’. But could it actually be closer to reality than you think.   As technology has advanced, law enforcement has had to adapt. With criminals utilising increasingly sophisticated methods to achieve their goals, our police forces have had to continuously evolve their approach in order to keep up.   New digital advances have refined crime-solving techniques to the point where they can even predict the likelihood of a specific crime occurring. But with our personal data at stake, where do we draw the line between privacy and public safety?  Caught on Camera   The digital transformation has led to many breakthroughs over the past few decades, originating with fingerprint analysis, through to the advanced Machine Learning models now used to tackle Fraud and analyse Credit Risk.   With an estimated one camera per every 14 individuals in the UK, CCTV coverage is particularly dense. And, with the introduction of AI technologies, their use in solving crimes is likely to increase even further.   IC Realtime’s Ella uses Computer Vision to analyse what is happening within a video. With the ability to recognise thousands of natural language queries, Ella can let users search footage for exactly what they’re after; from specific vehicles, to clothes of a certain colour. With only the quality of CCTV cameras holding it back, we’re likely to see technology like this become mainstream in the near future.   Some more widespread technologies, however, are already playing their part in solving crimes. Detectives are currently seeking audio recordings from an Amazon Echo thought to be active during an alleged murder. However, as with previous requests for encrypted phone data, debate continues around what duty tech companies have to their customer’s privacy.  Hotspots and Hunches Whilst Big Data has been used to help solve crime for a while, we’ve only seen it begin to play a preventive role over the past few years. By using Predictive Analytics tools such as HunchLab to counter crime, law enforcement services can:  Direct resources to crime hotspots where they are most needed.  Produce statistical evidence that can be shared with local and national-level politicians to help inform and shape policy.   Make informed requests for additional funding where necessary.   Research has shown that, in the UK, these tools have been able to predict crime around ten times more accurately than the police.   However, above and beyond the geographical and socioeconomic trends that define these predictions, advances in AI have progressed things even further.   Often, after a mass shooting, it is found that the perpetrators had spoken about their planned attack on social media. The size of the social landscape is far too big for authorities to monitor everyone, and often just scanning for keywords can be misleading. However, IBM’s Watson can understand the sentiment of a post. This huge leap forward could be the answer to the sincere, and fair, policing of social media that we’ve yet to see. Man vs Machine  Whilst our social media posts may be in the public domain, the question remains about how much of our data are we willing to share in the name of public safety.   There is no doubt that advances in technology have left us vulnerable to new types of crime, from major data breaches, to new ways of cheating the taxman. So, there is an argument to be had that we need to surrender some privacy in order to protect ourselves as well as others. But who do we trust with that data?  Humans are all susceptible to bias and AI inherits the biases of its creators. Take a program like Boulder, a Santa-esque prototype that analyses the behaviour of people in banks, determining who is ‘good’ and who is ‘bad’. Whilst it can learn signs of what to look for, it’s also making decisions based around how it’s been taught ‘bad’ people might look or act. As such, is it any more trustworthy than an experienced security guard?  If we ignore human bias, do we trust emotionless machines to make truly informed decisions? A study that applied Machine Learning to cases of bail found that the technology’s recommendations would have resulted in 50% less reoffenders than the original judges’ decisions. However, whilst the evidence suggests that this may be the way forward, it is unlikely that society will accept such an important, life-changing decision being made by a machine alone.  There is no black and white when it comes to how we use data to prevent and solve crime. As a society, we are continuously pushing the boundaries and determining how much technology should impact the way we govern ourselves. If you can balance ethics with the evolution of technology, we may have a role for you.   Take a look at our latest roles or contact one of our expert consultants to find out how we can help you. 

What does it take to be a Chief Data Officer?

By Noam Zeigerson Noam Zeigerson is a Data & Analytics Executive and entrepreneur with over 16 years’ experience delivering Data solutions. What does the role of the CDO entail and how can we succeed? Researchers at Gartner estimate that 90 per cent of enterprises will have a ‘Chief Data Officer’ (CDO) in place by the end of 2019. It also predicts that by then only half of CDOs will have been successful. So, what does the role of the CDO entail and how can we succeed? The rise in the use of data in the enterprise to inform business decisions has led to a recent phenomenon - the Chief Data Officer. Organisations will have a CDO in place to handle the many opportunities and responsibilities that arise from industrial-scale collection and harnessing of data. Unfortunately, it is rare to be successful, due to a number of challenges. As a new role, the CDO need to be in a position to increase business efficiencies and improve risk management, especially since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in May 2018. This puts the CDO in a position where business expectations will be high, and we have to make tough and potentially unpopular decisions, because the CDO’s role sits at the crossroads of IT and business. We typically responsible for defining the data and analytics strategy at our organisation. The CDO becomes instrumental in breaking down siloed departments and data repositories, which makes information easier to find and also have ramifications for the IT team. As Gartner notes, many CDOs have faced resistance, but the successful ones are working closely with their Chief Information Officer (CIO) to lead change. To be a key part of any organisation’s digital transformation, the CDO need a wide range of skills. The skills required of a Chief Data Officer The role of the CDO is multifaceted. For this reason, CDOs need to be able to combine skills from the areas of data, IT, and business to be successful. Data skills: A background in data science is crucial. A passion for statistics and a clear understanding of how to interpret data to glean insights is core to the role of the CDO. The CDO then needs to be able to communicate what those insights mean in a business context and make information easily available to all. A knowledge of data security is also critical. In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), whose job it is to enforce GDPR in the country, recommends the creation of a Data Protection Officer (DPO) at each organisation. This should fall within the remit of the CDO. The value of sharing data at a senior level is recognized by UK organisations, by and large. Further down the authority chain the picture is different, with about three-quarters of executive teams and nearly half of front-line employees actually need to have access to detailed data and analytics. The CDO needs to ensure that those who need data to further inform decision making can do so and are sufficiently trained to gain business insights from that data. IT skills: Understanding how information flows is an advantage as the CDO is well placed to recommend and implement technology to democratise and operationalise data, as well as improve security. The CDO will need to manage expectations across the enterprise, so appreciating what technology can deliver is the key. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are going to feature heavily of UK data projects, so many CDOs need to get to grips fast with this technology. Business skills: Strategic business logic is essential to success as a CDO. If the expectation of the CDO is to influence strategy based on data, then consulting experience will be valuable. Project management skills is at the forefront of the CDO’s day-to-day role. Being able to bring siloed groups together and get them striving for the same common goal is a vital skill for any CDO. It’s clear that data analytics is only going to be deployed more heavily throughout the enterprise, so the CDO’s role is only going to become more influential and pivotal within organisations as different business units seek to gain insights to improve the business further. Making a success of the CDO role Every organisation will have different objectives and expectations of their CDO. Gartner estimates that four in every five (80 per cent) CDOs will have revenue responsibilities, meaning we will be expected to drive new value, generate opportunities, and also deliver cost savings. No pressure! Given those expectations, it’s no wonder that Gartner expects only half of CDOs to succeed. The core responsibilities of the CDO includes data governance and quality, and regulatory compliance. The CDO must also address the way that technology is deployed to address these issues. The CDO needs leadership and team building skills, as we are the chief change agent in the organisation for creating a data-driven culture. This means first-class communications skills will be valuable.The Chief Data Officer is going to be essential in delivering digital transformation. Organisations who create a CDO role must support that individual and make sure that they are integrated across departments, not isolated in a silo. The C-suite must lead from the front on this and, as we saw earlier, the support of the CIO will be critical. Harnham are the global leaders in Data & Analytics recruitment.  Take a look at our latest roles or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to learn more. 

How Data Is Making Mass Marketing Personal

“Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.” – Mary Kay Ash, Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics From the very first market stall, sales have always relied on convincing individuals that what you’re selling is meant for them. The ability to connect with a person’s instincts, likes, and dislikes, is one of the key skills of any good salesperson. But as sales have moved from the market to the masses, businesses have needed to be increasingly innovative with the ways they target their specific audiences. To do this, they’ve looked to data. However, as customers become increasingly sceptical of targeted ads, just presenting your audience with a tailored advert is no longer enough. We’re having to get creative with data. Speaking to the Masses One approach brands are utilising to be more creative is, rather than using data to target, they’re using it to inform campaigns for a wide-audience. For example, Spotify’s end of year campaigns use data to recap highlights of the past year. These range from broader data about what music performed well, to data highlighting unusual behaviour from individuals.  This tongue-in-cheek approach helped reaffirm Spotify’s position as a brand who represent the zeitgeist. Furthermore, it feels personal even though it isn’t specifically targeted. If users identify themselves as part of a group being discussed they can feel as though the ad is personal to them, even if it’s on a billboard in Time’s Square.  However, there are still some risks to being so transparent with your use of data. Netflix stirred up a minor controversy when using viewing data for a light-hearted tweet. Whilst some saw the funny side, others felt that the post was invasive. Either way, it got people talking and ultimately led to an increase in views of the film they mentioned.  Using Insights to Incite Change Whilst some companies, like Spotify, use data to reaffirm their current brand, others utilise it to help them define their position. This doesn’t have to take the form of a radical change.  Nike’s recent campaign was fronted by a divisive figure within the world of US sports, Colin Kaepernick. Whilst some audiences found the move controversial, Nike’s core audience of under-35s saw this as a principled stand, repositioning one of the world’s biggest companies as a challenger brand. The move paid off and Nike saw their share price rise to an all-time high as a result of the campaign.  Data also has its place in reshaping an actual product. Take Hinge, a dating app that started life with few differentiators from its competitors. In 2017, they relaunched with a revolutionised app informed entirely from insights from their existing userbase.  Their data told them that users were “over the game” of swiping and wanted an app that allowed them to make more meaningful connections. Armed with this information, Hinge re-established themselves as an app led by unique, personal insights through a UX and brand overhaul, and are now a major player in the world of online dating.    Getting Engaged Data-driven advertising is also an excellent way to engage your audience. For example. Snickers brought their ‘You’re Not You When You’re Hungry’ campaign to life in Australia with their ‘Hungerithm’ algorithm.  The algorithm scanned 14,000 social posts across three sites every day throughout a five-week period, searching for users in a bad mood. If they found a post complaining about a traffic jam or the weather, they’d send a personalised promo code for a discounted Snickers to the ‘Hangry’ user. Across the campaign over 6,600 coupons were redeemed, and both sales and online engagement dramatically increased. Additionally, by using data that people had publicly posted, rather than their own stored information, Snickers managed to swerve any controversy.  If you are looking to create personalised ads based upon cookies and profile data, you can engage your audience without appearing too invasive. Animal rescue non-profit, the Amanda Foundation, used data to target groups without appearing too specific.  Fans of staying in and reading books were shown programmatic banner ads suggesting they adopt a cat, whilst athletic types were presented with active puppies. By loosely targeting demographics they created personal adverts that didn’t feel overly intrusive.  If you can creatively interpret data to inform targeting strategies, we may have a role for. From Marketing Analyst opportunities to Campaign & CRM jobs, we work with some of the best agencies around. Get in touch if you’d like to know more. 

Being Human: How the Interview Process is Evolving

Should we make our interview processes more like a talent show? That’s what a job centre in France thought when they introduced ‘This Is The Job’, an interview more in the style of ‘The Voice’ than a traditional Q&A session. Complete with spinning chairs and buzzers, this ‘technique’ has been swiftly brought to an end following public outcry.  But whilst it might not be the best idea to base the recruitment process on a popular TV show (let’s not use ‘Bodyguard’ as an inspiration for problem-solving tasks), we are seeing an evolution in how interviews are conducted. Here’s a look at some of the most popular trends we’re seeing businesses apply to their recruitment processes.  Cultivating a culture  Perhaps the most significant change we’re seeing at the moment is the increased prominence placed on cultural fit. No longer an afterthought, this is now a make or break factor for most employers.  Interview panels are looking for a candidate’s personality to come through when they discuss previous projects they’ve worked on. They’re keen to know that they can explain their findings to a wider audience. This includes being open about where they can improve and showing a level of humility. We’ve seen candidates rejected for being overly-defensive when receiving critiques of their technical work.  Alongside this, businesses are adapting their interviewing techniques to reflect this more human approach. First-round telephone interviews are being replaced by video calls, offering an experience closer to face-to-face. Agencies, in particular, are taking interviews out of the office and into coffee shops, with the ambition of creating a more social interaction.  All of these changes should mean that both businesses and candidates have a better understanding of what they’re signing up for before an offer is made or accepted.  Ironing out the creases  Given the fast pace of working life, finding time to dedicate to an interview process is a challenge for businesses and candidates alike. Fortunately, we’re seeing processes streamlined.  Whereas we had seen a trend for employers sending out time-consuming tasks to thoroughly test people’s abilities, the amount time required led to delayed processes and candidates dropping out. As a result, businesses are now including technical screenings within the interview itself, alongside short demos, presentations of work and online coding sessions.  By keeping things simple, we’re now seeing less candidate drop off early in the process. This, alongside combining technical and competency questions, has resulted in a more concentrated, yet just as detailed, way of assessing an applicant’s suitability for a role.  Getting hands on Employers have always looked for someone who can walk the walk, as well as talk the talk. Now they’re taking matters into their own hands by requiring candidates to react to real world examples. Most commonly, we’re seeing these take the form of case studies, generally falling into one of two categories: Quantitative, where a relevant business situation and data are provided and need to be addressed.  Conceptual, where there are no figures, and the interviewer is trying to gain an insight into the candidate’s approach and thought processes. On top of this, we’re beginning to see new methods introduced that test applicants even further. Job Auditions are becoming an increasingly popular way of assessing how well a candidate can perform in a real-world situation. There’s even talk of introducing Virtual Reality to push this idea even further within a controlled simulation.  Regardless of what the future may hold, companies are clearer than ever with what they’re looking for in the interview process. Don’t be surprised if we continue to see innovations that offer more depth into a candidate’s true behaviour, personality and working styles.  If you’re on the lookout for a new role, we can support and guide you through the interviewing process. We have a variety of roles in both Junior and Senior positions, both Contract and Permanent.  Take a look at our latest roles or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to see how we can help you progress you career. 

Vision 2020: Challenges of Today and the Skills of Tomorrow

Yesterday is history. As businesses race to stay competitive and relevant in today’s world, they face unprecedented changes to the way business works. The increasing speed at which digital advancements transform our ways of working has forced all of us, from entry-level to CEO, to adapt. If business leaders can’t add digital leadership to their expertise, they’re in danger of being left behind.  Key Characteristics of a Data & Analytics Strategy Data is driving business and it is increasingly important to build an effective Data & Analytics strategy. To do this, companies need the right people in place. They’ll need to get familiar with pressing topics and trends such as GDPR, AI, and Blockchain. Though GDPR is currently only within the EMEA region, it’s important for all businesses to adopt worldwide as part of their ongoing strategy.  There are three key characteristics businesses will need to bear in mind when formulating their strategy: Trust Robust Capabilities Insights By engaging with these characteristics, business can help secure their enterprise for the long term.  Skills to Have for the Future of Work While technologies such as AI can take over routine tasks allowing human employees more time to solve complex problems, we all need to review what other skills we can contribute.  Whether you’re in school or looking for your next opportunity, here are a few skills which can help you rise above the competition in the next year or two. According the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Future of Jobs Report, these are the skills employers will need, whether they know it yet or not: Cognitive flexibility and critical thinking. This involves logical reasoning, problem sensitivity, and creativity.   Negotiation skills. This applies to every industry from Data Analysis and Software Development to those in commercial and industrial Art and Design fields. Service to others. Are you known for helping those on your team, your supervisors, and those in your industry? These skills will be more important than ever. Judgement and decision making. Getting buy-in from a colleague and offering a strong suggestions to managers and executives at the right moment.  Emotional Intelligence. Can you gauge someone’s reaction by their body language or the slight hesitation before they answer a question or make comment? This skill will become increasingly important as the workforce of the future begins to blend robot and human.  Coordinating and collaborating with others. The ability to adjustable, flexible, and be sensitive to others’ needs. People Management. For managers and higher, it will be crucial to choose the best people for the job, motivate them, and help them develop their talents and skills. Creativity. Employers will need people who can think creatively and not only apply it to new products and services, but also to discern new ways to solve a problem. Critical thinking skills coupled with creativity just may be the one-two punch needed for the workforce of the future. Complex problem-solving. Humans who can analyse data results and have intelligent conversations with the employees who need them will be highly sought after in 2020.  One thing that’s important to note in the list above is the prominence of ‘soft skills’. Though Data & Analytics roles remain the top technical arena, what employers need in the future is individuals with highly developed social skills too. As robots and AI take on mundane, routine jobs, employers will need people who can be, well, human.  Can you bring a group of people with diverse opinions together? Can you morph from cold analytical numbers to warm greetings? Can you explain complex topics in varying degrees to people at different levels – graduates, managers, the boardroom? Continue to harness these skills and you will be even more valuable by 2020.  Have you got 2020 vision for the future? We may have a role for you. We specialise in both Junior and Senior roles.  To learn more, check out our current vacancies or get in touch. 

How to Succeed in Self-Service BI

Business Intelligence, along with Business Analytics and Big Data, is one of the terms often associated with decision-making processes in organisations.  However, there is little discussion around the importance of what skills decision makers in your organisation need to use the technology efficiently.  In recent years, the development of user-friendly tools for BI processes, Self-Service BI are increasing. Self-Service BI is an approach to BI where anyone in an organisation can collect and organise data for analysis without the assistance of data specialists. As a result of this, many businesses have invested in comprehensive storage and information processing tools. However, many are beginning to find that they are not able to realise the gains of these investments as they were expecting, may often due to underestimating the difficulties of introducing these systems into the current processes and transforming existing knowledge into actual actions and decisions.  In a worst-case scenario, if left unplanned, Self Service BI can sabotage your successful BI deployment by cutting mass user adoption, impairing query performance, failing to reduce report backlogs, and increasing confusion over the “single truth”. To prevent this from happening, here are our top three tips for ensuring the right implementation of SSBI in your company: UNDERSTAND YOUR USERS’ NEEDS There are three major user areas for analytics tools: strategic, tactical and operational. The strategic users make few, but important decisions. The tactical users make many decisions during a week and need updated information daily. Operational users are often closest to the customer, and this group needs data in its own applications in order to carry out a large number of requests and transactions.  Understanding the different needs of each group is necessary to know what information should be available at each given frequency to help scale the BI solution.  HARNESS THE POWER OF ADVANCED USERS To ensure a successful BI deployment, utilising advanced users is key. Self-service BI is not a one-size fits all approach. Casual users usually don’t have the time to learn the tool and will often reach out to ‘Power Users’ to create what they need. Hence, these users can become the go-to resource for creating ad-hoc views of data. Power Users are the ideal advocates for your business’ self-service BI implementation and should be able to help spur user adoption.  UPGRADE INTERNAL COMPETENCIES  Our final tip for a successful implementation is to communicate the new tool thoroughly to the users.  It is highly unlikely that employees who have not been involved in the actual development project will immediately understand what the tool should be used for, who needs it, and what it should replace. By upgrading internal competencies, you can avoid becoming dependent on external assistance. Establishing a cross-organizational BI competence centre of 5-10 members, who meet regularly to share their experiences will help drives and prioritise future use of the tool. The added benefit of a successful implementation is that it will generate new ideas from users for how the organisation can use data to make better decisions. If you have the skillset to implement Business Intelligence solutions, we may have a role for you.  Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in contact with our team. 

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