With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.
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Customer experience is a term that we hear almost every time we engage with a business now. Businesses care what we think about them as customers and it’s easy to understand why. Statistics show that 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. (Source: RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report 2011).
So looking after a customer is right up there as a top priority for so many of the UK’s major organisations when trading with customers, but why not when recruiting?
The Customer Experience and it's effects
When someone applies for a role with your business, should they be treated in the same way as someone interacting with your business as a customer? We believe they are a potential customer and their experience will impact their opinion of your organisation, and also whether they would like to join you. Its key to realise that getting this wrong in a niche market is potentially very damaging.
Statistics seem to differ on the figures of how many people we tell if we have a good experience or bad experience, but it is safe to say that we tell more people about the bad experiences we have. If you’re recruiting in a niche market such as Data and Analytics, this can reduce your target market substantially in an already challenging and candidate driven market place.
So, what can you do? First, review your application processes
Avoid having processes that make candidates feel like a number. Although we appreciate that this is not always achievable on mass volume campaigns, you can still make the process as personable and welcoming as possible, just by reviewing the tone your ‘no thanks’ email response is written in. If a candidate is asked to fill in a long application form, answer questions and then do tests as a very first stage, what should they expect as a response? It is quite common for them to just receive an e-mail along the lines of “Thank you for your interest, but due to the large amount of applications, we are unable to give you further feedback.” Just by offering feedback, while it is still not the news they want to hear, will give them a much more positive impression of your organisation.
Avoid long delays
Whilst we appreciate that sometimes there are delays in a recruitment process, it is important to give interviewees regular updates. Consider if someone attends an interview and goes through the effort of preparing for what can sometimes be a gruelling meeting, they are going to be keen to hear if they have been successful. If they then have weeks of radio silence following the interview, it can mean that even if the outcome is positive, the candidate is frustrated by this stage.
One sided processes
Case studies and tests are a common part of an interview process, but candidates will take time off work to come in and complete them. Try to avoid this part of the process appearing like you are not interested in the personality of the candidate or that this is purely a one-sided assessment by giving them an opportunity first to talk about the business and why they have applied, and also giving you an opportunity to sell the business to them.
Be clear on a process, and stick to it
The key advice is to imagine yourself in a candidate’s shoes. You’ve looked for a job before, so you will know what makes a good and bad experience from your own personal experience. Each person who attends an interview is meeting you to discuss an aspect of their life that they will spend over 8 hours a day focusing on. If the process to secure the role isn’t good and doesn’t engender a positive view of your business then you could well be fighting a losing battle to hire them from the start.
With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.
Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out our recent posts below.
If you’re lamenting the decline of handmade traditional products, cast your cares aside. There’s a new Sheriff in town and its name is, Tech. Just a generation ago, children would leave the farm or the family business, go to school, and then move on to make their place in the world doing their own thing. Away from family. Today, the landscape has changed and those who have left are coming home. But this time, they’re bringing technology with them to help make things more efficient and more productive. Is Tech-Assisted Still Handmade? In a word, yes. Artists still make things “from scratch”, except now technologies allow them to not only see their vision in real-time, but their customers, too. Have you ever wondered what the image in your head might look like on paper or in metal? What about the design of prosthetic arms and healthcare devices by 3D printers? You’re still designing, creating. But just like any new technology, there’s still a learning curve. Even for cutting-edge craftspeople who find that sometimes, the line between craftsmanship and high-tech creativity may be a bit of a blur. Not to mention the expense for either the equipment required or being able to offer art using traditional tools at technology-assisted prices. Somewhere between the two, there is a trade-off. It’s up to the individual to determine where and what that trade-off is. Life in the Creative Economy One of Banksy’s paintings shredded itself upon purchase at an auction recently. AI is making music and writing books. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Blockchain all have their place in the creative economy from immersive entertainment to efficient manufacturing processes. Each of these touches the way we live now. In a joint study between McKinsey and the World Economic Forum, 'Creative Disruption: The impact of emerging technologies on the creative economy', the organisations broke down the various technologies used in the creative economy and how they’re driving change. For example: AI is being used to distill user preferences when it comes to curating movies and music. The Associated Press has used AI to free up reporters’ time and the Washington Post has created a tool to help it generate up to 70 articles a month, many stories of which they wouldn’t have otherwise dedicated staff.Machine Learning has begun to create original content. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have come together as a new medium to help move people to get up, get active, and go play whether it’s a stroll through a virtual art gallery or watching your children play at the playground. Where else might immersive media play out? Content today could help tell humanitarian stories or offer work-place diversity training. But back to the artisan handicrafts. Artistry with technology Whilst publishing firms may be looking to use AI to redefine the creative economy, they are not alone. Other artists utilising these technologies include: SculptorsDigital artistsPaintersJewellery makersBourbon distillers America’s oldest distiller has gotten on the technology bandwagon and while there is no rushing good Bourbon, but you can manage the process more efficiently. They’ve even taken things a step further and have created an app for aficionados to follow along in the process. Talk about crafted and curated for individual tastes and transparency. It may seem almost self-explanatory to note how other artisans are using technology. But what about distilleries? What are they doing? They’re creating efficiency by: Adding IoT sensors for Data Analytics collection Adding RFID tags to their barrels Creating experimental ageing warehouses (AR, anyone?) to refine their craft. Don’t worry, though. These changes won’t affect the spirit itself. After all, according to Mr. Wheatley, Master Distiller, “There’s no way to cheat mother nature or father time.” Ultimately, the idea is to not only understand the history behind the process, but to make it more efficient and repeatable. A way to preserve the processes of the past while using the advances of the present with an eye to the future. If you’re interested in using Data & Analytics to drive creativity, we may have a role for you. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expect consultants to find out more.
15. August 2019
The financial crisis of 2007-2008 changed banking. The world moved from taking mortgage loans in our dogs’ names to introducing strict regulations for banks prohibiting them from giving out loans to “anyone” without assessing Risk properly. In 2010 the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) introduced BASEL III, a regulatory framework that builds on BASEL I, and BASEL II. This framework changed how banks and financial institutions asses risk. It introduced an Advanced Internal Rate Based Approach (Commonly known as the AIRB approach). Now, the committee has introduced new changes and, by 2022, all banks and institutions will have to implement the revised IRB Framework, as well as new revised regulations for the standardised approach, CVA Framework and new frameworks for Operational Risk and Market Risk. So, what does this mean for those working Risk? Change Is Coming Change is inevitable, no matter what you do. If you work in Risk Management and Compliance, change is something you can expect to happen, often. As mentioned above, by 2022 there will be lots of changes. The Basel Committee calls this initiative the “finalised reforms”, or BASEL IV which builds on the current regulatory framework BASEL III. Quickly summarised, the changes limit the reduction in capital that effect banks IRB models. This change is predicted to impact banks in Sweden and Denmark the most, with estimations that capital ratio will fall by 2.5-3%, far higher than the 0.9% expected for the average European bank. So what does all this mean for Swedish and Danish banks? What’s Happening Now? One of the main things that Swedish and Danish banks need to revise for these new regulations, are their internal models. The new regulations introduced a new definition of Probability of Default, measured through a model commonly known as a PD model. Effectively this means that every bank must “re-develop” their internal PD Models in the IRB approach. Consequently, we are already seeing a clear response from the banks in their strategies moving forward. It has already become quite apparent that many banks are looking to make IRB model development their focus for 2019-2020 and 2021. This has resulted in a boom in the hiring space for developers with experience in IRB Modelling and Credit Risk Modelling in general, which in turn has led to high demand in the face of the low supply of these types of candidates. Understandably aware of this, modellers are now looking to negotiate higher salaries. What You Can Do For candidates that hold the right experience, there are good opportunities at hand. If so inclined, they can utilise this chance to finally see if the grass actually is greener on the other side, or not. However, there are a couple of things worth considering before making a move. Firstly, are you actually keen on switching jobs? Your skills are probably equally in demand at your current employer and, if you are having doubts about moving from the get-go, you may well be able to negotiate a rise without pursuing a new opportunity. However, if you are serious about finding something new, this is a great time to do so. The majority of banks have found that these new regulations are creating an unsustainable workload, and are now looking for talent externally to expand their teams. This means that the experienced modeller can pretty much have their pick of the litter. Furthermore, if you are a junior modeller, there are now plenty of opportunities for you to enter a niche area known for being exciting and innovative. So, wherever you are in your career, these regulatory changes are likely to have a large impact and open up new avenues for you to explore. We all know that regulations in banking and finance are now essential, we all agree, even if they can be a little frustrating. However, what people often fail to think of are the opportunities new regulatory requirements create. In the case of BASEL IV, we’re already seeing an increase in demand for strong talent, and a demand for people who are passionate about Risk Management and model development. For businesses, new regulations also provide the chance to not only improve their teams, but to create new models that can be utilised to optimise and automate. A lot of financial institutions are already aware of this and are using these models to gain competitive advantage over their competitors, as well as to stay one hundred percent compliant. If you’re looking to build out you Risk Management team or take on a new Risk opportunity for yourself, 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.
08. August 2019
When looking at the cyber security measures in 2019 the outcome is uncertain. Threats come in the form of pariah states, extremely skilled individuals, and illiberal actors. However, what is certain is the leaps and bounds made in technology. Before computers, defence documents were in government offices. By the Second World War this would progress onto secure sites, take Bletchley Park for example. The real watershed would come years later in the Cold War. While there was no direct military action (aside from the proxy Korean and Vietnam War), this tension was illustrated elsewhere, with the space race and nuclear armaments to name but a few. Both sides went to extraordinary lengths to guard and seize intelligence through covert ops. As this classified information made its way onto computers and in turn brought about new risks. This theme continues to the present day; as technology improves, so do offensive and defensive capabilities. Hard Power With the advancement in technology this has been used by militaries to take and saves lives. Only a matter of years ago aerial bombardment would have to involve putting pilots at risk, flying deep behind enemy lines. These days, a bombing run could be carried out anywhere in the globe with the ‘pilot’ not having to leave their chair. How? Through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). This removes any casualties to their pilots, using advanced systems in Computer Vision to operate across the globe. The ethics of this remain debated and there are many who express doubts at the use of AI, fearing their destructive potential. Others, however, see this as necessary advancement. Indeed, in asymmetric warfare, established states’ advanced technology is near enough untouchable. Take an example from the US Marines. Still in testing, an advanced platform can allow troops on the ground to see if a room has been cleared, saving friendly lives. This is way above the capabilities of rogue terrorist forces, and looks set to play a crucial role in saving lives. It would seem highly unlikely that the Taliban, for example, could use sophisticated weaponry to bring down a jet. However, the danger in 2019 now lies with the established illiberal states who still pose a serious threat. It is paramount that nations continue to advance, to both deter and, if needed, counter a hostile force. Soft Power While NATO states have shown dominance in physical terms over past foes, 2019 brings uncertainty when it comes to soft power, most notably cyber-security. The threats to this are very real, and are a put civilians at risk - take the Sony and NHS hackings as an example. Moreover, the notion of alleged election meddling continues to plague politics, notably the US 2016 Election and the Brexit referendum. There have been several accusations of state-sponsored foul play incorporating the use of bots to influence people’s decision making, mostly through continual pressure on either fake news or mass-support of certain decisions. They impact society directly into our homes, considering the popularity of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Alongside many other nations, the UK is taking action to counter this type of threat. Only recently a specialist cyber-security division in the army has been established, quite literally to both counter, and if needed, launch cyber-attacks. Ultimately, society has come a long way, physically and online when it comes to defence. Sophisticated weaponry continues to develop but is raising new ethical questions, particularly in regards to the use of AI and Computer Vision. Civilian institutions remain at risk, with many having been targeted in hacks or through intervention on social media. Threats may continue to evolve, but so will defence strategies, with the two competing to stay one step ahead of the other. If you’re interested in applying Data & Analytics to national security, 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 more.
31. July 2019
Whilst Data continues to play a huge role in all aspects of life; developing businesses, schools, health care etc., one industry has already seen a massive impact from the Big Data revolution. The film industry, and its television counterpart, were among the first see to the potential of how Data can transform the way they work. Beyond profit, access to new types of Data is allowing companies to consider what audiences will be most interested in at specific times, utilising current viewing habits, what topics are the most popular on social media, and even the news so they can create something that tailors to everyone’s different interests. The Streaming Revolution Netflix’s popularity is down to more than the variety of movies and series it has to offer. Its pioneering use of recommendation systems, originating when it was purely a DVD rental service, means that it always knows what its subscribers want to watch, when they want to watch it, and on what device. Their ability to tailor bespoke recommendations, down to which poster people see, has created an entirely different approach to how viewers chose and engagement with entertainment. Netflix’s Data collection means that it knows its audiences very well, something they can utilise as part of their marketing. By contrast, even a behemoth like Disney can struggle to compete. Following the success of 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Disney Chairman, Bob Iger admitted ‘we don’t have any idea who went to see Star Wars in the cinemas’. Whist this may have not been too much of a problem at the time, given the film’s $2 Billion box office, the diminishing returns of the films that have followed suggests that better insight as to why the film was a success may have been beneficial. It’s no wonder, therefore, that Disney are launching their own streaming service later this year. Beyond Box Office In the majority of businesses these days, Data is used to decipher consumer buying habits, web traffic and social media interactions, as well as to monitor supply chains, costs and sales. This is no different for the movie industry, particularly when examining what makes a move work. By using Data Science, producers can determine which actors, directors, release dates and even running times are likely to make a movie profitable. For example, history may dictate that the summer is likely to be the most profitable time of year. Whilst this may be true for June, where average profit is $100m, ten times that of January, November and December are the second and third most profitable months. Beyond assessing profitability, however, Hollywood is using technology to try and re-establish a relationship between creators and audiences. Newly emerging tools are empowering studios to convert massive quantities of movie-goer reactions into meaningful actionable insights. With Big Data analytics, movie executives have gained an insight into audience’s perspectives and this is dramatically altering the way in which movies are made, marketed and distributed. Companies like IBM are looking at new ways of tracking sentiment analysis that will have a massive impact on the creative process. However, whether or not the industry’s leading writers and directors will want to work within these parameters is yet to be seen. #DataDrivenAds Data’s impact on the movie industry goes beyond the insights it offers on audience perceptions. When it comes to marketing a movie, the Data & Analytics space offers a number of opportunities. Studios are beginning to realise that, in order to drive the small-screen generation to the big screen, they need to come to their territory. To promote ‘The Dark Tower’ in Singapore, Sony ran a series of targeted mobile adverts that allowed users to choose a character to engage with. A follow up campaign then targeted users who had engaged with relevant messaging and details of showtimes at their nearest cinemas, using the mobility of their devices to their advantage. Furthermore, for the release of ‘Ready Player One’, Facebook offered an augmented reality experience for those who engaged with the film’s poster in public. However, sometimes, the most effective marketing technique remains word-of-mouth. Netflix’s ‘Bird Box’ received little critical praise and minimal attention initially upon release. However, once users started posting memes about the movie onto their social media feeds, viewing figures picked up exponentially. This allowed Netflix to reassess their marketing efforts and respond to public sentiment, creating a strategy that fed off the zeitgeist and was significantly more effective. Data has transformed the movie industry. If you’d like to work with Data & Analytics to transform another, 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 more.
25. July 2019