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A data democracy built to last needs tools that empower everyone to work with data rather than relying on apps and data scientists. Tableau helped ignite the data revolution, and its IPO could help it keep going.
The democratization of data is a real phenomenon, but building a sustainable data democracy means truly giving power to the people. The alternative is just a shift of power from traditional data analysts within IT departments to a new generation of data scientists and app developers. And this seems a lot more like a dictatorship than a democracy — a benevolent dictatorship, but a dictatorship nonetheless.
These individuals and companies aren’t entirely bad, of course, and they’re actually necessary. Apps that help predict what we want to read, where we’ll want to go next or what songs we’ll like are certainly cool and even beneficial in their ability to automate and optimize certain aspects of our lives and jobs. In the corporate world, there will always be data experts who are smarter and trained in advanced techniques and who should be called upon to answer the toughest questions or tackle the thorniest problems.
Last week, for example, Salesforce.com introduced a new feature of its Chatter intra-company social network that categorizes a variety of data sources so employees can easily find the people, documents and other information relevant to topics they’re interested in. As with similarly devised services — LinkedIn’s People You May Know, the gravitational search movement, or any type of service using an interest graph — the new feature’s beauty and utility lie in its abstraction of the underlying semantic algorithms and data processing.
The problem, however, comes when we’re forced to rely on these people, features and applications to decide how data can affect our lives or jobs, or what questions we can answer using the troves of data now available to us. In a true data democracy, citizens must be empowered to make use of their own data as they see fit and they must only have to rely apps and experts by choice or when the task really requires an expert hand. At any rate, citizens must be informed enough to have a meaningful voice in bigger decisions about data.
The democratic revolution is underway
The good news is that there’s a whole new breed of startups trying to empower the data citizenry, whatever their role. Companies such as 0xdata, Precog and BigML are trying to make data science more accessible to everyday business users. There are next-generation business intelligence startups such as SiSense, Platfora and ClearStory rethinking how business analytics are done in an area of HTML5 and big data. And then there are companies such as Statwing, Infogram and Datahero (which will be in beta mode soon, by the way) trying to bring data analysis to the unwashed non-data-savvy masses.
Combined with a growing number of publicly available data sets and data marketplaces, and more ways of collecting every possible kind of data — personal fitness, web analytics, energy consumption, you name it — these self-service tools can provide an invaluable service. In January, I highlighted how a number of them can work by using my own dietary and activity data, as well as publicly available gun-ownership data and even web-page text. But as I explained then, they’re still not always easy for laypeople to use, much less perfect.
Can Tableau be data’s George Washington?
This is why I’m so excited about Tableau’s forthcoming IPO. There are few companies that helped spur the democratization of data over the past few years more than Tableau. It has become the face of the next-generation business intelligence software thanks to its ease of use and focus on appealing visualization, and its free public software has found avid users even among relative data novices like myself. Tableau’s success and vision no doubt inspired a number of the companies I’ve already referenced.
Assuming it begins its publicly traded life flush with capital, Tableau will not just be financially sound — it will also be in a position to help the burgeoning data democracy evolve into something that can last. More money means being able to develop more features that Tableau can use to bolster sales (and further empower business users with data analysis), which should mean the company can afford to also continually improve its free service and perhaps put premium versions in the hands of more types of more non-corporate professionals for free.
The bottom-up approach has already proven very effective in the worlds of cloud computing, software as a service and open-source software, and I have to assume it’s a win-win situation in analytics, too. Today’s free users will be tomorrow’s paying users once they get skilled enough to want to move onto bigger data sets and better features. But the base products have to be easy enough and useful enough to get started with, or companies will only have a lot of registrations and downloads but very few avid users.
And if Tableau steps ups its game around data democratization, I have to assume it will up the ante for the company’s fellow large analytics vendors and even startups. A race to empower the lower classes on the data ladder would certainly be in stark contrast to the historical strategy of building ever-bigger, ever-more-advanced products targeting only the already-powerful data elite. That’s the kind of revolution I think we all can get behind.
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With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.
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COVID-19 has reshaped the way we do business, how we interact with each other, closed and opened opportunities. Essential workers are on the frontlines and scientists work feverishly in the background to help flatten the curve and find a cure. The Life Sciences industry has seen a surge in demand, but can those needs be met in time? New York, California, and Boston, face the highest demand and the biggest shortage of workers to fill the jobs. In Massachusetts alone, it’s estimated that though 74,000 people filled Life Science jobs by the end of 2018, there would be a need for an additional 12,000 by 2024. This was before the pandemic struck. The need is ever greater now. So, what skills do you need to enter the Biotech and Life Sciences field and if you’re in the field, how can you upskill or reskill to fill the most in demand roles? THREE ADVANCED SKILLSETS FOR A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD Computer Vision – A subset of AI, Computer Vision can help the healthcare industry in a variety of ways. It can help identify anomalies in x-rays, help craft prediction models for things like tracking and vaccine solutions, and enhance technology workflows. Data Storytelling – One key element businesses look for in a Data professional is someone who has good data storytelling skills. The ability to translate complex numbers and statistics into something executives and stakeholders can understand is becoming ever more important and ensures sustainability of business continuity. Not only does Data Storytelling make information more digestible for non-technical professionals, it also helps business leaders to make powerful insights about where they are and what steps they need to make moving forward.Skills in Healthcare Technologies – Healthcare technology skills are in high demand. Data professionals who can use and understand medical data in real-time to get results will be highly sought after. Advanced skill sets in healthcare, biotechnology, and similar areas within Life Sciences will see a surge in demand and would be most relevant to companies now more than ever before. Computer Vision, Data Storytelling, and Healthcare Technology skills have become three of the top skillsets needed for today’s world. Each one feeds to the other, and as important as technical skills are, it’s just as important to have soft skills. Especially now. Thankfully, both soft skills and technical skills can be taught. But there still exists a gap between school and business. Below are some ideas on how to bridge that gap. BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN SCHOOL & BUSINESS STEM and STEAM skills will be in higher demand now more than ever before. As important as it is to ensure students with the desire to move into these fields, it’s more important to begin with the schools. For the professionals already in the industry, there are other ways to encourage bridging the gap. Draw more students into STEM programming careers and sustain encouragement as they progress in their studies and career.Emphasize skills with a focus toward the life sciences field.Emphasize that students don’t have to choose a business career over a science career. There is crossover leading to more opportunities.And for those life long learners (read: already in the field), ensure opportunities for professional development.Find talent in other creative ways. Consider ‘non-traditional’ candidates. Business processes have shifted online, looking for your next job has become more daunting than ever before. But here’s the good news. Everyone’s on the same page. Leaders, hiring managers, recruiters, and prospective employees are all navigating a new way of doing business and finding talent to keep those businesses running. In the wake of work-from-home policies, remote working, and the shifting landscape of working outside the office, technology, and particularly biotechnology careers are prime opportunities to both gain increased knowledge in your chosen field or begin your career path. If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics professional opportunities, check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to email@example.com.
04. June 2020
When Ford first introduced the assembly line, he could only imagine how it would affect the automotive industry. But what about how it could affect supply and demand within the life sciences industry? Automotive and similar factories have been converted before to help build items most needed. Not the least of which, today, is to help supply those in the life sciences industry with the PPE and medical devices they need. Demand is high. Supply is not. Enter blockchain technologies. As health systems become overburdened and disruptions to ‘normal’ life occur on a global scale, it’s important to ensure critical resources are prioritized. So, what can businesses do to help ensure supply and demand are met in not only these critical times, but for the future. FIVE WAYS TO ENSURE SUPPLY MEETS DEMAND When it’s difficult to supply even the most in demand products, it’s time to take an assessment of various scenarios. These scenarios can help leaders predict what and when they’ll need certain products and critical items. Assess your scenario within the framework of increased disruption.What are your capabilities?Identify the most immediate needs to meet, any risks to be aware of, and take action.Determine any structural changes you’ll need to make.Prepare to pivot. Be aware you may be in a continuous cycle of determining risk, assessing where you are and need to go, any configurations you’ll need to make to get there, and any operational procedures to improve and move forward. By assessing, prioritizing, and visualizing, companies are able to craft a clearer scope of vision. The scenarios created can offer insight into key pieces of planning to help mitigate disruptions of supply chain processes. This crisis will have long-lasting effects and implications from how we work to how we assure supply and demand. It’s in these strange crosshairs, the life sciences industry finds itself at the center of this pandemic, and at the same time is the life force which has given blockchain technologies fuel to improve. No matter where you are on the spectrum of supply chain technology, there is calculated risk to every decision. Just because we’re easing restrictions now, doesn’t mean there won’t be an about face in the next few months, and what companies do between now and then is critical. Supply is already short. Now is the time to take immediate action to help mitigate risk for patients, providers, your clients, and your communities WHAT TO DO NOW AND HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE The scale of risk is unlike any leaders have seen in recent years. Its speed adds to the uncertainty as numbers rise, decisions change, and most are left wondering what’s next. Businesses who respond quickly and confidently can help to alleviate some uncertainties, but can craft a plan crucial to understanding the complexities of blockchain within the industry. Strong data, analysis, predictive modelling can help to anticipate any further or potential disruption. Taking these steps can help make businesses more resilient in the future and also help them manage future challenges. It’s integral to have strong, responsive, and resilient risk management capabilities. To do this, your business will want to ensure their capabilities are technology-led platforms which support analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Whether you’re mitigating risk, preparing an assessment, or determining your capabilities, it’s important to ensure you’re transparent. We are all in this together. Even in business. Transparency builds trust as does assuring supply and demand by mitigating risk. It’s these things which will soon become the basics of business protocols. Business processes have shifted online, looking for your next job has become more daunting than ever before. But here’s the good news. Leaders, hiring managers, recruiters, and prospective employees are all navigating a new way of doing business and finding talent to keep those businesses running. In the wake of work-from-home policies, remote working, and the shifting landscape of working outside the office, technology careers are prime opportunities to both gain increased knowledge in your chosen field or begin your career path. If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics professional opportunities, check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to email@example.com.
28. May 2020
In the race to develop tests and create vaccines, the Life Sciences have become leaders within the Data industry. Working in tandem with a variety of sources such as human capital, blockchain, Data, and Analytics professionals to get help delivered to where it’s needed most. This remains a critical time for the Life Sciences. As we work to flatten the curve and take steps to reopen the economy, the Life Sciences industry is also helping to empower the workforce for the foreseeable future. For many businesses, this means allowing remote working either through the end of the year or indefinitely. The ability for those in the Life Sciences industry to collaborate remotely widens the availability and offers more virtual engagement for patients, providers, and researchers without risk of contagion. There are four key areas in which companies can focus their efforts: Strengthen and empower your workforce and business community.Ensure demand meets supply.Leverage your Data to advance how patients are treated.Ensure technologies and processes are in place to virtualize patient/provider engagement. We’ll look at each of these over the next few weeks. So, how do you empower your workforce, build your community, and ensure continuity for your business? First, determine how you might best attract and retain talent for the problems to solve now and in the future. Five Ways to Ensure Workplace Flexibility for the Future Enable your employees to work remotely through digital, virtual, and collaborative technologies.Build a transparent culture through meaningful connection between healthcare providers, patients, partners, and vendors. Make sure everyone’s on the same page at every stage.Innovate new ways to interact through digital means and encourage business continuity through remote work, virtual AI to assist with customers, and evolve connections to meet strategic objectives.Widen your scope to collaborate across geographies at a global scale.Automate when possible to expand detection and response Life Sciences Brands Set New Standards for the World of Healthcare The sudden and long-lasting impact of COVID-19 requires brands to move more quickly than ever before to best serve their customers. It’s imperative customer operations offer quality, caring, and compassion particularly within the healthcare and by design Life Sciences industry. In order to offer the best care and treatment, Life Sciences brands must use the Data and Analytics information they’ve acquired from healthcare records, researchers, and more to ensure quality care for both customers and employees. In times of uncertainty and fear, leaders must make informed, swift decisions. Trust is paramount is work, research, customer and employee relationships move to and remain online rather than face-to-face. While our collective emotional state adds to the challenge, it also offers new opportunities to be forged. The work-from-home model is dependent on having the right secure technology. Employees and businesses need to feel as secure working from home as they would in an office environment. To create this experience and build trust, implementing networking infrastructures will be more important than ever before. Put People First As important as secure technologies, solid networking infrastructures, and customer care are, the number one priority to ensure you can meet each of these is to care first and foremost, for your workforce. It’s this caring which will enhance your efforts allowing for business continuity as you also care for your customers. We are all in unchartered territory these days, but leaders who put their employees first are building another level of trust. Understanding the unique intensity of caring for family members and managing wellness as well as navigating increased workloads for some of their employees may seem untenable. But when your workforce is armed with the latest information, assurance of frequent communication, and the chance to celebrate small wins and jobs well done, the people you care for will care for your business. Business processes have shifted online, looking for your next job has become more daunting than ever before. But here’s the good news. Leaders, hiring managers, recruiters, and prospective employees are all navigating a new way of doing business and finding talent to keep those businesses running. In the wake of work-from-home policies, remote working, and the shifting landscape of working outside the office, technology careers are prime opportunities to both gain increased knowledge in your chosen field or begin your career path. If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics or other Data professional opportunities, check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to email@example.com.
21. May 2020
Small business. Big business. From Amazon to Zoe’s Restaurant, everyone has taken a hit during the pandemic. Some are closed indefinitely while some have been retrofitted to make masks, ventilators, or have even become makeshift labs to find a vaccine or a cure for the coronavirus. But what’s one thing all these businesses have in common? The need for marketing. We’ve all had emails assuring us our favorite business is doing their part to flatten the curve. Others might explain they’re refocusing or redoubling their efforts to support front line workers, but they’ll return to business when they can, and small enterprises? Every sale is a bonus for them as they struggle to make ends meet and stay in business. So, what are some ways that Marketing Analytics are helping these businesses both big and small plan for the future? They’re making use of marketing analytics. Shift Strategies. Build Community. It’s a virtual business world, but that doesn’t mean you should stop marketing, or that your customers aren’t still around. By showing you care about your customers whether it’s taking steps to sanitize surfaces or offering high-value content. By shifting strategies from outbound to inbound, it’s giving your customers a chance to window shop, browse, and consider before buying. Whether they’re having to be cautious about their finances or not, how you present yourself to them, keeps them around for the long haul. Being there for your customers shows them you appreciate them and care about them. And that you’re not just about the sale. This is the virtual handshake which keeps your customers coming back and gives them something to look forward to in the future. Show Support. Express Solidarity. This is for both your employees and your customers. When you show support and express solidarity from within your company, it speaks volumes to your customers. These are trying times for everyone, if you must close your doors, be clear in your communications. Be honest and explain what’s happening, if and when you hope or expect to resume operations, and stay positive. Niche Market Analysis Determine who your customers are and how they might react in times like these. How they react can determine what you do next and how you do it for your business? As much as you should have an overview of your demographics, it’s also important to take a deeper dive. Knowing this information can help you plan the most effective marketing strategy for the future of your business. This kind of raw Data offers a wealth of information and resources to help you best analyze your information. Gather Data. Track. Analyze. This can help you get an overview of what’s working, what isn’t, and how you can pivot based on your customer’s needs. This time is an opportunity to assess, reassess, and pivot if needed to determine what works best for you and your customers. From here, you can refine your strategies, get creative in your ideas, test, and track. Remember, Marketing is a process. Marketing is a long game. Have patience. Be consistent. While the fruits of your labors may not be immediately felt, customers may feel of a sense of normalcy knowing you’re with them during this pandemic. Everyone’s in the same boat. We’re all in this together. Whether you’re a business on the front lines or have to close your doors for a while, using these strategies help not only your customers have something to look forward to, but you as well. As business processes have continue to shift online, looking for your next job has become more daunting than ever before. But here’s the good news. Leaders, Hiring Managers, recruiters, and prospective employees are all navigating a new way of doing business and finding talent to keep those businesses running. In the wake of work-from-home policies, remote working, and the shifting landscape of working outside the office, technology careers are prime opportunities to both gain increased knowledge in your chosen field or begin your career path. If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics professional opportunities, check out our current vacancies or contact one of our expert consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to email@example.com
14. May 2020