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Ross joined Harnham as a graduate in 2013 as part of the Data and Technology team. He helped subspecialise and grow the team, and now is a Manager leading Big Data Engineering, Business Intelligence, Data Governance, and Software Engineering recruitment. He brings a passion for data technology with a high-level of service, looking to make your recruitment process as easy, fast, and efficient as possible.
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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: Why a cloud operating model matters Consulting firm Contino has said that, “successful cloud adoption requires organisations to go beyond tools and techniques to map out a cloud operating model”. Within this article from Computer Weekly, this idea is explored as greater emphasis is placed on the need for organisations to change the way they work to reap the full benefits of cloud technology. When looking to adopt a cloud operating model, companies should look to think about the cloud as a product, that serves a business need, and then align the team structures and relevant accountabilities accordingly. It’s a serious commitment – so reshuffling the team to make the best of the tech is critical. See more on bringing cloud tech into your business here. DevOps Online: Artificial Intelligence to play a more important role within DevOps We’re incredibly excited by this new research from GitLab, that has found out that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are starting to play an important role within DevOps. Some of the top points from the study were: 84 per cent of developers and managers stating they’re releasing code faster than before and 57 per cent declared that code is being released twice as fast.12 per cent of respondents said that adding a DevOps platform has sped up the process, and 10 per cent said the same about adding automated testing.75 per cent of enterprises are using AI/ML to test and review their code before release, while 25 per cent use full test automation. The survey showcased that developers’ roles are shifting toward the operations side as they are focusing more on test and ops tasks, especially around cloud, infrastructure, and security.DevOps is an incredibly dynamic market, and one that we’re building our networks in, so we’ll be sure to keep an eye on how this develops. To read more on this topic, click here. Forbes: The five ways to build Machine Learning models Machine learning (ML) is powering most of the recent advancements in AI, including computer vision, natural language processing, predictive analytics, autonomous systems, and a wide range of applications. This insightful article from Forbes explores the five ways in which ML models can be built up: Machine Learning toolkitsMachine Learning PlatformsAnalytics SolutionsData Science NotebooksCloud-native Machine Learning as a Service (MLaaS) offerings. Knowing what different options are available and that there is no one-size-fits-all for ML will help businesses to make better decisions. To read the full article, see here. CMI: How to become fluent in diversity and inclusion: keep practising In this interesting interview, CMI Companions talks about how leaders can move from othering and executive-level disinterest to action and organisational survival. The core questions that came up from this discussion covered: So why are we still seeing a lack of diversity in so many organisations?How can leaders and organisations move from seeing diversity as a challenge to seeing it as central to performance and survival?What can you do to become a leader who’s fluent and effective when it comes to diversity and inclusion? Through the panel discussion, the leaders explored creating inclusivity in a virtual environment, focusing on retention, promotion and growth and making diversity and inclusion a priority within the business. 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 email@example.com.
04. June 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
23. 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. Search Engine Journal: 4 ways call tracking is changing (and why it’s a good thing) Call tracking is no longer about a customer seeing an ad, calling up the company, telling them how much they loved the ad and then deciding to purchase goods. This is a positive thing really because it wasn’t the most effective way for businesses to track how well adverts were doing anyway - who really remembers where they saw a billboard that took their interest, or what time of day an advert popped up on the TV? As call tracking technology becomes more advanced, call analytics have become much more accessible for all. Not only have they been able to transform how businesses of all shape and size advertise and track their success, but also how they market to potential audiences and track their sentiment. This article from Search Engine Journal looks at the evolution of call tracking and call analytics from its most basic form, how it works now and what the future of this crucial set of analytics will look like in the future. Read more on this here. Towards Data Science: Data Science Year Zero Skills or qualifications in Data Science are becoming incredibly sought after by many employers, but the knowledge of how to break into the sector is still a little unclear for potential candidates. In this article by Towards Data Science, they break down the crucial elements of how to successfully enter the industry in four easy steps. What the author, Bala Vishal, lacked when he started and how you can set off on a better footing.The most important skills and tools to have under your belt.Which skills should you home in on first.How to thrive in the workplace. This incredibly insightful piece should be a ‘must-read’ for any budding Data Scientist looking to break into Data in 2021 and beyond. Read more here. KD Nuggets: 10 Statistical Concepts You Should Know for Data Science Interviews This article is perfect for anyone in the Data Science industry. Whether you’re new to the game or looking to take the next step on the career ladder, make sure you brush up on these crucial statistical concepts you should know inside out before entering interview. A few, in no order, include: Z tests vs T tests An invaluable piece of knowledge that will be used daily if you are involved in any statistical work.Sampling techniques Make sure you’ve got the main five solidified in your knowledge bank - Simple Random, Systematic, Convenience, Cluster, and Stratified sampling.Bayes Theorem/Conditional Probability One of the most popular machine learning algorithms, a must-know in this new era of technology. Want to know about the other seven? Read more here. Forbes: 48 per cent of Sales Leaders Say Their CRM System Doesn’t Meet Their Needs. The Good News Is That This Is Fixable. This article by Gene Marks explores why teams aren’t happy with their current CRM systems, and how this can be remedied. New research from SugarCRM found: 52 per cent of sales leaders reported that their CRM platform is costing potential revenue opportunities.50 per cent of the companies said they cannot access customer data across marketing, sales and service systems.Nearly one-third complained that their customer data is incomplete, out of date, or inaccurate. While damning statistics, Marks then goes into how this worrying situation can be fixed for good. He says: “Like just about all problems in business, this problem comes down to two factors: time and money. The blunt fact is that most companies are not willing to spend the necessary time or money needed to enable their CRM systems to truly do what they’re designed to do. CRM systems are not just for sales teams. And they're not just for service teams. For a CRM system to be effective, a company must adapt it as its main, collaborative platform.” Read more on this here. We've loved seeing all the news from Data and Analytics in the past week, it’s a market full of exciting and dynamic opportunities. To learn more about our work in this space, get in touch with us at email@example.com.
26. February 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. Which-50: The Art and Science of Data-Driven Decision Making Data-driven decision making when actioned effectively can be a real success. However, marketing and analytics leaders in the digital marketing space recognise that, for the most part, managing the cross-channel customer experience, taming data silos, and creating and managing cultures inside companies all stand in the way of this. Using data in a way that sets a business up for continued growth is critical and Which-50 heard from some senior leaders in analytics and marketing to share their thoughts on these obstacles. Steffen Daleng, the CMO of Booktopia, says the first problem organisations face is that they have too many platforms. “We have data sitting in so many silos that we need to try and connect them to one single customer view, as they like to call it.” Campbell Holt, the Chief Customer Officer of Mercer says, “The single customer view is not a reality, despite what many claim, in a federated data model.” Managing the vision of implementing the data and the reality is key. Read the full article here. KDnuggets: Top nine Data Science courses to learn online Within Data & Analytics, there have certainly been a range of key learnings we have taken from the past year. From implementing remote working and understanding the technology needed to support it, to a renewed focus on employee wellbeing, organisations will now be moving into the new year with a clearer vision for their growth and hiring plans. What is also important to consider, as outlined by KDnuggets, is that preparing for a career in data science has also drastically changed. The skills gap in the tech industry is widening, and for professionals seeking to move into the data science discipline, it is crucial to think about furthering your education and opportunities by undertaking online courses. In the USA, these are: Post-Graduate Program in Data Science from Purdue University and SimplilearnGraduate Data Science Certificate Program from Michigan Institute for Data Science, University of MichiganData Science Graduate Certificate from Harvard Extension SchoolCertificate in Data Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignData Analytics Certificate Program from University of Texas at Austin (Center for Professional Education)Certificate in Data Science from Georgetown UniversityCertificate Program in Data Science from UC Berkeley ExtensionData Analytics - Cornell Certificate Program from eCornellProfessional Certificate in Applied Data Science from Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth Read more on how you can further your learning here. The Drum: Do you know how ITP is affecting your Google Analytics data? A large number of marketers are likely to be unaware of the impacts that Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) is having on their Google Analytics data. A feature in Safari, ITP prevents a website from tracking its visitors around the web. A bit of a headache, right? The Drum explores the impact this can have on marketers who will rely on this to understand and enhance the customer journey for Safari users. This article takes a look at how reporting may be misguided by this limitation of data. Read more about this here. Engadget: The New York Times brings its crossword to AR As it’s Christmas week, we thought it would be fun to bring you this story as our last in the weekly roundups from Harnham. We’ve all become familiar with the New York Times crossword in the newspaper, online and on mobile. But now, it’s coming to you in augmented reality too! The new version of the popular puzzle is called Shattered Crosswords and brings the game to life. It’s great to see how our uses of technology are changing across different sectors. We’re loving this, and you can find out how to get involved here. We've loved seeing all the news from Data & Analytics in the past week, it’s a market full of exciting and dynamic opportunities. To learn more about our work in this space, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
24. December 2020
We recently spoke to Vin Vashishta, a consulting Data Scientist and Strategist who was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Data Science. Having started off in the tech world 25 years ago and progressing from web design and hardware installation to Business Intelligence Analytics, Vin found for many years that enterprises were reluctant to adopt AI technologies and embrace the value of Data. In fact, it wasn’t until the beginning of the decade just passed that companies started to think about their Data more strategically and the world of Data Science was born, albeit hesitantly: “When I first started, it was a lot of experimentation, everyone wanted a proof of concept,” he says. “A lot of work was creating models that could go from whiteboard to production and productise and show their value.” However, it wasn’t until halfway through the decade that he began to see businesses who had adopted Machine Learning move away from experimentation into incorporating it more deeply into their companies, relying more on analytical and optimisation models to make strategic business decisions. “After that, in about 2017/2018 the maturity changed. It went from being a one off implementation to it being a comprehensive tool within an organisation where we have full lifecycles of model implementation and full models that were full views of the system. The key component of development was allowing users to access a small part of the system to do their job better without having to understand the whole thing. And that’s where we are now. We have this applied Deep Learning and we are seeing, especially this year, attempts to optimise that, make things go faster and make them more repeatable.” But, as we all know, with great power comes great responsibility: “There’s this whole depth we are getting into, the expectations are so much higher, people don’t just expect it to work they expect it to work the way they want it to and in a way they can adopt.” So, with so much expected and required of Data Scientists in 2020, building the right team is more important than ever. However, many businesses, Vin believes, are yet to get their hiring processes right: “A lot of the measures that we use to sort of evaluate employees are fictional – when you say years of experience, it has no correlation to employee outcomes or the quality of employee you get long term. It’s the same thing as college degree, there’s no correlation.” So when Vin is trying to build a highly specialised team, what does he do? “We have to teach specialisation, we can’t expect it. We can’t bring someone in and call them a Data Scientist and hope that they train up. You end up with teams that are exactly the same because they have hired the same people, people who reinforce the bias of what they do, and that is where true leadership needs to come in.” A specialised team made up of individuals who bring their own ideas to the table is more important than ever, particularly as businesses demand more from their Data teams. Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all models. Businesses now want something tailored to them: “Custom models are huge. The “import from…” Machine Learning development from three years ago adds value when it comes to wrangling and doing the Analysis, but when it comes to creating models companies are now expecting it to become a competitive advantage. Companies no longer want the same model that everyone else has, now it has to be differentiating.” These smart, customised models, he adds, will help businesses through the current pandemic. “The best models right now are adapting rather than reacting.” However, he’s sceptical about the Data Science community becoming too preachy: “When it comes to COVID-19 one message I want to send to the Machine Learning and Deep Learning community is ‘shut up’. We don’t have the Data! We have so many Data Scientists talking about something that’s very important to get right. If you get it wrong the consequences and the credibility we will lose as a field is enormous.” Indeed, discussions about the lack of quality Data on COVID-19 are widespread at the moment and raise concerns for Vin: “What the last two and a half months has revealed is the danger of bad Data, the danger of assumptions that are hidden in Data that hasn’t been looked over well or wasn’t gathered well and was fed into these models that now aren’t robust. Of course, no model can account for something this drastic, but they should still be performing far better than they are right now.” Despite these concerns, Vin believes any change in the world brings about opportunities for those in the Data and technology space. “What I’ve been trying to do ever since I joined the technology space is figure it out. It’s constantly evolving and it’s constantly changing. That’s really what has driven my journey. I’m always trying to figure out ‘what’s next’ over the next five years, ten years whatever it may be.” If you’re looking for your next Data Science, Machine Learning or Deep Learning role, or want to build out your own highly-specialised 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.
23. April 2020
Covid-19 has presented a challenge for recruiting teams and businesses across the globe. Many businesses have adjusted to remote working in order to help stop the spread and eliminate the need for their employees to travel to the office. As businesses continue to hire, they are using technology to move from a traditional face to face process to video interviews. The good news for companies who are on the hunt for top talent, however, is that now is a prime time to continue speaking and networking with Data & Analytics professionals who could be a great addition to their business. Here’s why: AN EXCESS OF FREE TIME Now that people are working from home, they’re saving time on commuting, and aren’t working in close proximity with their co-workers or boss so they can make time to speak. Any previous struggles with arranging times to speak because of clashing schedules are now significantly reduced and there is now plenty of time to book in a call. Isolation is a prime time to hold a conversation with potential future employees as it’s highly doubtful anything is going to pop up last minute and interrupt your meeting. Plus people are more keen than ever to keep connected to others and engage with conversation. It’s the perfect opportunity to softly sell your company and what is on offer, longer term company visions, discuss trends in the market, plans on growing and where the best Data & Analytics talent around can fit into this. WE’RE ALL TECH READY With the world now set up for remote working, this could be a great time to book in virtual coffee meetings over the likes of Zoom, Google Hangout or Skype. Adjusting from face to face meetings to virtual ones, means there is no need to cancel meetings and if anything means networking with talent is easier. There are plenty of opportunities to ‘meet’ with talent and build relationships in ways that may have been harder to arrange when trying to find a physical time and place. This also means that onboard remotely is a very achievable reality. Virtual meetings with new starters offer an easy way to stay connected and build a relationship before they join the business. For example, a candidate who accepted a job offer in February but now may not start until August could be feeling uncertain as to whether there is still a job on offer. By arranging virtual meetings with people who are still set you join the company you’ll be able to stay in contact,. keep them engaged with your brand, and actually have longer to build a pre-onboarding relationship with them than you would’ve done. CANDIDATES ARE READY TO GO The best talent doesn’t wait around for long and, if projects have been postponed, they’ll be keen to keep developing their skillset Specialist and highly skilled candidates who may not have been looking for new opportunities are now actively searching and more than willing to network with hiring managers. Even if you’re not imminently hiring, now is a good time to begin initiating longer term conversations with professionals and creating a pool of talented candidates who are engaged with the business. Then, by the time you are ready, there will be a talent pool to begin interviewing with rather than starting from scratch. Naturally, some candidates may no longer be on the market, but if they’ve been left with a positive impression, there’s no harm staying in touch until the right time does come along. If you’re looking to connect with top Data & Analytics talent or businesses, we can help. Get in touch to hear about our network of thousands of top Data professionals, or take a look at our latest opportunities here.
09. April 2020
The New Year, and the new decade, have arrived. The past ten years saw Data move to the forefront of public conversation following a number of big leaks and controversies. But, realistically, the impact of the ease of access to a surplus Big Data has only just begun to be felt. Whilst many are predicting what the world will look like by the end of the 2020s, discussing how far AI will have come and the consequences of automation on the job market, we’ve decided to look a little closer to home. With that in mind, here are a few trends we expect to see over the next year. ACCESS TO DATA SCIENCE WILL BECOME EASIER Data Scientists have traditionally been limited in number, a key group of individuals with PhDs, honed skills, and a vast understanding of Data & Analytics. However, with the advent of a number of new tools, more and more users will be able to perform Data Science tasks. However, many of the more sophisticated processes are still far from being replicated, so those currently working in this area shouldn’t be concerned. In fact, the more standard tasks that can be automated, the more time Data Scientists will have to experiment and innovate. THE 5G EXPLOSION Whilst there may have been a soft launch last year, the introduction of 5G will have a much more significant impact over the next year. With a flurry of compatible mobile devices around, and many more expected to come, we’re likely see 5G networks hit the mainstream. In the world of Data, this is likely to have a huge impact on how businesses use the Cloud. Indeed, with mobile upload and download speeds set to be so fast, there is a chance that an online middle-system may no longer be as necessary as it once was. THE RISE OF THE EDGE On the subject of the Cloud, it’s worth talking about Edge Computing. No, this has nothing to do with the pizza or the guitarist. Edge Computing has been a trend for a few years now, but, following an announcement from AWS, it looks set to become much more prevalent in 2020. Concerned with moving processing away from the Cloud and close to the end-user, Edge Computing is already beginning to have an impact across a number of industries. A NEED FOR AUGMENTED ANALYTICS It’s no surprise that the use of AI, Machine Learning and NLP is set to increase over the next year, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that Augmented Analytics are set to become more popular too. The opportunities, and extra time, offered by using the automated decision making offered by Augmented Analytics are the perfect fit for the increasing number of organisations who find themselves with more Data than processing capabilities. DATA WILL HELP FIGHT THE CLIMATE CRISIS Whilst there is a fair argument that the amount of processing required by the world of Data & Analytics is detrimental to the climate, the benefits any insights can offer are likely to outweigh any negative impact. Indeed, the UK government are already using Satellite Data to help reduce the impact of flooding, whilst Google’s EIE is being used to map carbon emissions with a view to better plan future cities. Given the recent, and tragic, bushfires in Australia, this is going to become an even more pressing issue over the next 12 months. If you want to be at the forefront of the latest innovations in Data & Analytics, 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 find out how we can help you.
09. January 2020
Mridul Mathur is a skilled Senior Program Director with more than 15 years of experience working in businesses from Deutschebak to Dyson. He has a proven track record of successfully delivering large and complex cross-functional programs and building high performing teams from scratch. In last five years the main focus of his work has been in the area of Data Management to address the issues and challenges organisations have faced in the wake of various new regulations. Data Management and Data Governance are hot topics at the moment. Do you feel that attitudes have changed towards the fields since the beginning of your career? It’s been a very big shift. Going back to my involvement at Deutsche Bank around 2007, we were managing Data purely because we needed to create a Credit Risk position so that we could explain to the Bank of England and other regulators what we were doing. We didn’t really look beyond that. But now, if you look at the industry, we want to use Data to not only calculate our Risk position but to derive value out of that Data. It's something that can give a company a competitive advantage one of those things that can significantly change a business. I personally feel that the turning point, not just for Deutsche Bank but for everybody was the market crash that happened in 2008. A lot of the company did not have Data Management skills, or the ability to bring the Data together to understand exposures. Those who had exposure against Lehman, for example, could not recover any of the money they lost. That was the big turning point for all of them, when they actually lost hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of revenue and loans overnight. They didn’t have the right Data, in the right place, and it cost them. What major issues do you see successful Data Governance facing over the next 12 months? I think we're still going through a phase of understanding and internalizing the issue. By that I mean that we understand that our Data is important and how it can help us not only manage Risk but create value. But, when it comes to actually applying it, we are hamstrung by two things: One is that we haven't quite grasped the ways in which we can internalise that Data. We understand the value but the actual application is not really out there currently. Secondly, I think that in some places, we have too much activity. I've been in places where there have been competing Data agendas and competing Data Governance ideas. When people are not taking their organisational view and just looking to get ahead, it’s hard to achieve any real success. If you were advising a company about to commence on a large Data Management transformation project, what advice would you give them? This links to the previous point really, and it’s a bigger issue in large companies. You need to have a business approach to Data Governance, as well as the IP capabilities to deal with a project of that scale. And what you find sometimes is that multiple groups get together and they each have a different view of what good looks like. They end up not communicating throughout the organisation and properly aligning everybody’s roles and responsibilities. These different agendas then end up causing issues because everyone has a different idea of what they want. We need to be able to plan across the organization to get the right agenda and get the right properties in place. Then you can start the work, as opposed to each team just working where they think the biggest problem lies first. What would you say are the biggest threats to a successful Data Management program? Obviously the above is one, but it leads to another which is really the lack of Senior Management sponsorship. If you don’t get the right level of sponsorship, then you don’t get the mandate to do what you need. This can cause huge delays and is definitely one of the biggest threats to your program being a success. In finance, you worked within a highly regulated industry. How have your approaches changed now that you’re in a highly innovative, tech-driven environment? The approach is different. We do have challenges that others don't, but over and above, because we innovate and create things, there is an abundance of new information. Information protection and intellectual property protection is therefore at the top of the agenda. That drives the need for effective Data Governance and it really has to be at the forefront of the approach. Data breaches have caused widespread reputational damage to companies such as Facebook and Yahoo. Have you found that companies now view Data protection as central to their commercial performance? Absolutely. People realize that they not only need Data to do their business, but they also need to protect that Data. These breaches have resulted in a greater importance being given to this function and every year I see it moving closer to the center of the organisation. There are very few large organisations left that haven’t recognized Data Protection as one of their formal functions. A lot of companies are now looking to build out their Data Protection teams from the ground up, starting with lower levels of analysts, but also management as well. It’s becoming a much greater priority and these big breaches are one of the driving factors. What do you feel will be the most effective technical advancement within Data Management in 2019? I think, from a technological perspective, we still have some way to go with digital rights management. There’s now one or two solutions that are supposed to be at Enterprise level, but they’re not enough and they’re still not joining the digital rights management side of things with the Big Data Loss Prevention side. So companies are having to rely on seeing this together with a combination of plugin software and various tools and technology. It’s sticking around the edges of the edges of a fix, but it’s not actually doing the job. I'd like to see these technologies develop because I think we're crying for some help in this area. What is the biggest risk to their Data that businesses should be aware of? Not knowing where to get hold of Data. It is just mind boggling to me, that there has not been a single company that I have been a part of where we started a program and we knew where to get all our Data from. Obviously we knew where most of it was, but we didn’t know where else it was and that what we were looking at was a comprehensive set of maps. It just continues to be the same at every business I have worked at. What role does data governance have to play in protecting a business’ intellectual property? It plays a huge role. Firstly, a company needs to be very clear on their Data policies. This means regularly training teams on the importance of this, much like you would with health and safety. By clearly defining and educating people on the dos and don’ts of data handling you can better protect your intellectual property. I think getting the policy framework right and implementing it using digital rights management is crucial and good Data Governance relies on this. When hiring for your teams, which traits or skills do you look for in candidates? There are two key parts; one is technical and the other non-technical. In my mind, it’s less about the technical because, ultimately, I just want someone who knows how to use ‘technology x’. They need to be able to make use of Data from a database, or be able to spot Data in an unstructured environment. But, for me, the most important skill is more of a characteristic: tenacity. I use the word tenacity because you have to put yourself out there. You have to ask people questions and you have to educate them. You can’t assume that people just understand Data you’re presenting them and you have to become their friends and learn to speak their language. It also really brings in the skill of being able to work with teams and across teams. Being a team player would absolutely be top of my list. Mridul spoke to Femi Akintoye, a Recruitment Consultant in our Data & Technology function. Take a look at our latest roles or get in touch with Femi.
17. April 2019
Increasingly, I speak to managers who are adopting big data tools and developing PoCs to prove how they can make use of them. Just last week I spoke to a data architect who mentioned that if he didn’t get exposure to big data tech sooner rather than later, his current RDBMS skills may become redundant within the next few years. While that is likely an exaggeration, it is certainly an interesting point. Companies that would have never previously had the capability to interpret ‘Big Data’ are now exploring a variety of NoSQL platforms. In particular, the massive performance benefits gained from Spark and real-time/streaming tools have opened up a whole new world beyond just MapReduce. I don’t claim to be a data engineer, but as a recruiter for this sector, what I do is spend all day, every day interacting with big data developers, architects and managers (as well as keeping a close eye on the latest Apache incubator projects). Due to this, I have seen some recurring themes that have become trends when companies look to create and build their big data teams that are coming to the fore. Candidate demand The demand for Big Data professionals is very much a present day issue as the data companies have grand plans for is waiting for the right data developer to use the best tech to extract valuable insights from it. The best candidates receive massive interest, often gain multiple offers from a range of companies. Your business is now no longer just competing with large corporations such as Facebook, Twitter or Yahoo. Startups and SMEs are also vying for the best candidates. Candidates are seeing pay rises twice that of the normal rate, as illustrated in our salary guide. Candidate shortage The number of candidates with hands-on, production level Big Data experience is incredibly limited. We go to great lengths to find the candidates who can add real value to companies. The growth and exciting future for the big data industry has led to increased interest in big data jobs, particularly for those from RDBMS or software. engineering backgrounds. This leaves the industry in a difficult predicament: high demand + low supply = massive competition. There are countless examples of companies that have failed to recruit a Big Data team after a year of looking. Competition to get ahead and stand out Planning - Companies need to have a data road map detailing their future plans. Candidates want to clearly know what they are getting into and what to expect from a job. Innovation - Why get stuck on batch processing? The most exciting positions that candidates love are in data innovations teams, playing with real-time/streaming tech and new languages. Personal development, growth and training – with the data science market experiencing similar growth, many big data engineers are looking for a job that not only offers the chance to work with machine learning and similar fields; but training, mentoring towards clear career progression as standard. Speed – the length of the interview process is often seen as a reflection of the amount of red tape developers have to go through to get a job. The longer and more convoluted the process, the more put off some people may be. Complacency – don’t rest on your laurels, it’s unlikely that you’ll get 10s of CVs through when you are looking to fill a data role, so when you find a candidate you like, move swiftly to show your interest to them as quality candidates don’t come around often. By implementing these small but effective improvements to your recruiting process and how you develop data talent will see you create a team that is a success in this ever more digital analytics landscape. Companies who don’t create and nurture strong, dynamic teams will fall by the wayside. It’s Harnham’s job to help you achieve this goal. Get in touch with us to tell you how. T: (020) 8408 6070 E: email@example.com
06. June 2017
With all the talk of big data and data science being able to predict what colour shirt I will buy in four years’ time (probably white or blue for those who don’t know me!), effective business intelligence is sometimes passed by or considered old news. The reality is that companies are realising that they can get much more from their business intelligence and are changing their strategies to deliver interactive, insight-driven and visualised reports. Not every data-driven decision needs machine learning algorithms behind it, and quality business intelligence enables all managers to be effective decision-makers. These strategies are creating some obvious trends in the market, resulting in a change in expectations when hiring a BI Manager. Key BI TrendsData Visualisation – Companies of all sizes are implementing Qlikview and Tableau (amongst many other tools) to create attractive, interactive visualisations, to harness intelligence, in a way that will capture attention in a presentation. Insight Driven - A BI professional can’t simply develop automated reports anymore. Analysts are often required to offer suggestions for business change and present insight to decision makers. Hands-on Management – BI managers and even heads of business intelligence are expected to keep coding well into their management years, with the logic that problems can be spotted quicker when they are in the trenches, coupled with strategic and line management work. Data Ambassadors – BI professionals are becoming door-to-door data sellers, coaching teams in a business on the benefits of using data to optimise their teams and decisions to save or bring in more money. Heads are in the Cloud – Companies are using cloud-based data warehouses such as Redshift to save on storage costs, whilst creating a centralised data warehouse for BI. Alternative Data Sources – Companies are looking to use the web and social media data, alongside numerous other sources to generate deep insights for managers. The BI Manager EffectI am completely sold that all of these features represent the future of business intelligence. The few companies that are doing all of the above well enough, are doing advanced work in the area and these companies will be leveraging big commercial gains from their business intelligence teams. The problem is that only a few businesses are doing all of the above, so only a handful of professionals have the relevant experience, and as a result expect top dollar to bring all of those skills. Therefore, it is prudent to be flexible with your hiring requirements. Look for a bright, passionate candidate, who can readily grasp the shift in business intelligence trends, and is keen to plug skills gaps. An enthusiastic business intelligence professional will get up to speed with whatever they were missing. Don’t be too quick to dismiss those who are not ready-made BI managers on paper. Message to CandidatesFor all aspirational or existing business intelligence managers and leaders, I would advise you try to stay hands on as long as possible. I know some of you dream of never seeing a line of SQL code again, however, the trend in hiring for hands-on business intelligence management positions means that keeping your tech skills sharp will really keep your options open moving forward. It would be great to hear your experiences, so please feel free to comment below on the trends you see in your business. Have you needed to remain hands on as you progress within your career? Or are you looking for a multi-skilled BI manager, and it is proving hard?
06. July 2016