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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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The Art And Science Of Tech In HR

The Art & Science Of Tech In HR

Human Resources. Talent Acquisition. People Officer. No matter what title a person has whose responsibility is finding the right person, for the right job, at the right time, the heart of the matter is they’re dealing with people. You know, humans. So, as the word “tech” becomes a suffix to every industry, think FinTech, MarTech, AdTech, and so on disrupting the old ways to make way for new, more efficient ways, what does that mean for the human resource industry? While there remains some concern about the industry in the age of the fourth industrial revolution, for the most part, many companies see technology in HR as good overall. But first, let’s get some misunderstandings out of the way. What Tech in HR Is Not Automation, Robotics, and AI are not taking over jobs, they’re helping to make a Hiring Manager’s job easier. By automating certain processes, it can give hiring professionals the time they lack to get back to the human side of things. You know, human-to-human communication. In fact, it’s not really disrupting jobs at all, rather it’s disrupting tasks. It’s either substituting or augmenting, just as humans do but wish they didn’t have to, so they could spend more time on the people side of things. Though we’ve mentioned a few things, Data Science in HR is not, there still remains some debate. Check out this article on whether or not Data Science will save the industry or forever change it leaving years of best practices in the dust? What Tech in HR Means for Growth Today’s tech world is a robust ecosystem of art and science. In Human Resources, the merging of a person looking for a job with a company looking for someone qualified to fill it takes a delicate touch of personality and technical prowess. HR has always been a science, of sorts. Now, it’s got the tools to help your company grow and keep up with your competitors. These tools include software applications which can offer improved reporting metrics, people analytics, Machine Learning, and NLP to help you improve such areas customer service. Would you rather have a person at the computer 24/7 or a chatbot to answer basic questions until a human can get online and take the conversation further? This is just one way in which technology is helping to improve the industry, not hurt it. Besides, when your customers are happy, so is your company’s bottom line. There is not a one-size-fits all approach and as technology learns to navigate the complex systems of people, businesses, and their behaviors, but there is much to learn. However, with the near limitless storage, computer processing ability and availability, and data models for predicting outcomes, the sky really is the limit. The mark of HR will be its ability on using data to steer the organization’s future with an upskilled and reskilled workforce. How to Not Get Left Behind There’s comes a time in every organization’s life in which it knows what it needs to grow, but isn’t yet ready to part with the old ways. The only problem, especially in today’s world, is that world doesn’t wait, and if you’re not ready and willing to pivot, you could get left behind. KPMG International’s Future of HR global study, which surveyed 1,200 global HR executives, reports conflicting attitudes and approaches to the challenge between action and inertia. According to the report, only 41% of respondents recognized the need for transformation but were in a “wait and see” position, while 72% of CEOs reported they’d rather be the disruptor than the disrupted. So, where is the disconnect? We know now, that even with a degree, pedigree, and a solid set of technical skills as a foundation, transformation is happening at a breakneck speed. So how can companies ensure their employees can keep up? One of the hottest topics across industries is reskilling and upskilling. Following in the footsteps of Google, IBM, and Microsoft, businesses today are more focused on ensuring individuals can demonstrate their skills, not just list them on a document. Think skills assessments and simulations, practice projects, virtual and mock experiences. It’s the “try before you buy” model. This is a near 360-degree shift from historical practices.  Every industry had its growing pains as it marched forward toward progress, but with the demand for highly skilled data professionals who can also resonate at personal level across the business landscape (read: soft skills), then the potential, if executed well, could be a boon for the industry.  Disruptions are meant to shake up the way we do business and answers the needs of our buyers. Easier, faster, more efficient, smoother, and the list goes on. Technology can free up time by taking on those repetitive and redundant tasks, giving you more time to be with your customer, whoever and wherever they are. Are you looking for a new opportunity in Data & Analytics? We may have a role for you. Check out our current vacancies or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.  For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.

AR & VR Breathe Life Back Into Our Lives

AR & VR Breathe Life Back Into Our Lives

Remember the bicycles piled in the yard that showed where your friends were? What about the jingle of coins in your pocket as you headed to the arcade? Stranger Things may have recalled these distant memories, but what if you could still see bicycles piled against your neighbors’ door or listen to the jingle of coins as you played with your friends? This is Augmented Reality and its aim now is to get you off the couch, exercising, playing, and enjoying camaraderie. Ready, Player One? Five Trends to Watch As we navigate the next stage of our virtual and augmented realities, there are a few trends to watch. AR, VR, and AI Will “See” Objects - Augmented Reality (AR), combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Computer Vision, will help computers “see” and label what’s being seen. Machine Learning will ramp up to offer increasingly correct identification of objects whether it’s the dinosaur exhibit at the natural history museum or connects the dots for stargazing in a planetarium.VR Gets More “Real” for the Mainstream – In other words, developers are able to offer more immersive experiences. New developments in hardware technology, such as eyeball tracking and field-of-view help power the idea users can interact and explore less like a video game and more like real-life.AR Can Help Keep Your Eyes on the Road – Remember KIT? The car who talked, could self-diagnose, and navigated with barely a hand on the wheel? It’s not so far-fetched now as it once seemed as vehicle manufacturers increasingly opt for voice assistants and some begin to offer graphics’ overlay of footage around the car. Others go a step farther, projecting data onto the car windshield, assisting with navigation, lane identification, and potential hazards along the way.AR-Based Entertainment Branches Out – No more piled high pizza boxes, sitting in the dark of your parent’s basement. AR today is about getting moving; physical activity and balancing tech life with real life. Toys and Gaming companies are on the bandwagon to get families moving. Location-based gaming has grown by leaps and bounds as has interactive projection-based technology. Some applications can transform your immediate environment into an immersive gaming experience while others can transform playgrounds which, when unlocked by parents, can offer choose-your-own adventure types of projects to complete. Enter whole being of mind, body, spirit. And we’ve barely scratched the surface.Worldbuilding, Personalized Character Building, and Augmented Board Games – Each of these are about bridging the gap between the physical and digital world and is most changed when it comes to board games.  As exciting as these trends are, it’s not all fun and games when it comes to the next advances of AR. This technology is also being used to help discover early onset of Alzheimer’s and most recently has found its way into the operating room. Or at least, it will be soon as companies look to bring the AR and VR technologies into the OR. Training and Teaching with AR AR & VR technologies are being used for teaching and training in just about every industry it seems. From Walmart to the Military, business is seeing the benefits of allowing individuals to practice their roles without the associated real-world risks. But when it comes to the healthcare industry, this is where AR begins to really shine. What if we could predict not only detect early onset dementia, but catch the onset of mental illness as well? One company, recently cleared by the FDA, is working toward just that, with the specific goal of predicting Alzheimer’s early. With an estimated cost of around $290 billion which could rise to over $1 Trillion by 2050, their claims of 94% accuracy in detection 6 to 10 years early is good news for families. Memories are how we share our stories and no family wants to miss theirs. Could technology as disparate as it once made us be bringing us closer together? With these latest, that just may be the case. So, whether you want to let out your inner child, practice a new skill without real-world ramifications, or simply know your memories will be with you for a lifetime, AR offers something for everyone. Every industry. Every business. It has infused our world and is breathing life back into our lives.  Want to be the wizard behind the curtain, the Data Analyst to know what’s next, or the Data Engineer who builds the next great technological advance in the AR spectrum of services and capabilities? We may have a role for you. Check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.  For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.

Diversity in Data

Coming Together: Diversity In The Workplace

Diversity. It’s a hot topic fused into every discussion from the board room to the upper echelons of government. And it’s more than the gender pay gap. It’s about bringing people together with different backgrounds, ideologies, processes, and creative persuasions. This is how you create your dream team – different ideas focused on a common goal.  We all know this at our core, but what does it mean to put it into action? In our 2019 Salary Guide, we covered a wide spectrum of how to hire and retain employees and within it discovered where the diversity gaps lay within the Data & Analytics industry. Marketing & Insight roles may have had the smallest gap, but Data Science teams had the largest. On the heels of our Salary Guide, keep an eye out for our upcoming Annual Diversity Report. But before we can do anything, we need to talk about culture. Specifically, changing our business culture to embrace diversity and inclusion. Did you know this change could help attract top talent and drive stronger teams to more innovative results? How to Put Diversity Initiatives Into Practice According to a 2018 study from McKinsey, diverse companies from their general workforce to their leadership are 33 percent more likely to have higher profitability than their competitors who are not as diverse. For gender diversity, the margin is 21 percent. Add to this, government regulations, candidates’ evaluation of diversity in an organization, and the company’s own plans to improve their efforts, and the task seems daunting enough. Diversity questions are no longer relegated to the just one group or another, now the question comes from every direction. Every location.  Below are just a few ways to begin your Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Be Open to New Things and Establish a Sense of Belonging. Create a space where each person can bloom and shine. Establish a connection in which people are relaxed and can be themselves. Give them opportunities to create and engage in the workplace. Leadership is Key. Lead by example. Show empathy and avoid making diversity and inclusion the exclusive domain of HR. This is a time for everyone to get involved, to understand, and to remember why diversity is important. It’s more than ticking a box and it’s not one-size fits all. But each step forward is for the betterment of the business.Make Inclusion Part of Your Company Culture. Don’t think of diversity and inclusion as a one-day workshop. This is the time where you bring everyone together to learn what it means to be inclusive. Have you ever felt out of place or uncomfortable in a situation? Did anyone come to include you into the goings on or were you left to your own devices? Put yourself in other’s shoes and have your team do the same. Then identify behaviors and build new habits which support open and honest communication. It is okay for people to disagree, it’s what leads to real change. The key is to not let biases be mistaken for healthy discussion.You are Your Brand. Wear it Well. Company culture and brand are linked. They are infused in the products and services you offer to the world. Does your company culture of diversity reflect that of your customer base? What do you want your brand to say? How do you want to be known as a company? What new idea might you come up with divergent voices giving their thoughts and opinions? These are just a few of the ways you begin to establish a diverse and inclusive culture in your business. Now is the time to adapt your processes to scale for these behaviors. Ask yourself about the makeup of your meetings. Who attends? Who speaks? Is anyone being left out whose input you value? People First, Then Data As companies struggle to begin their diversity initiatives, there are still some caveats. The first is to remember you’re hiring people, not the data on a spreadsheet. Every business knows the importance of data and People Analytics is no different. But the problem begins with too small numbers as businesses try to pinpoint where they need to improve their diversity efforts.  Limited data about certain groups within the larger can be misleading. So, while it may seem counterintuitive, the answer is to broaden categories. Rather than focus on ethnicities, age, background consider the group overall. It’s the breaking down of demographics, where businesses begin to misstep on their path to diversity. So, what are some steps you can take to help improve your diversity initiatives? Well, here are a few to get you started. Avoid sample-based analyses. Focus on a range of outcomes. For example, are women represented well? What about women of color? Is there a wider variety of ages? Is the male contingent homogenous or are different demographics represented?Talk to employees and dig past first glances. Interviews with staff help to remind you these are people who cannot be defined by a statistic. It’s during this time you can learn more about them, their struggles, aspirations, and cultural insights. Descriptions take into account surface information such as race, gender, socio-economic status, and so on. Decisions based on data ripple through people’s careers and can affect their livelihoods.Ensure managers are engaged as allies. Just as leadership is key to ensuring the company culture embraces diversity, so too are the managers. It is they who are crucial as they make key hiring decisions, determine projects, and develop employees for advancement. Leadership offers an overview, but it’s the managers who shape the day-to-day of the employee experience.  One Final Thought… Most of us don’t start out intending to exclude anyone, but we naturally gravitate toward people like us or whom we imagine can best benefit our business. But when we open ourselves up to the possibilities of a more diverse workforce, the possibilities are endless. To begin, however, we must understand where the problems are, and from there fix them. At Harnham, we’re proud to be diverse in our company culture. In our inaugural Diversity Report, we showcased our near 50-50 split within our leadership and our efforts to be inclusive throughout our organization.  If you’re interested in Big Data and Analytics, we may have a role for you. Take a look at our current vacancies or contact one of our expert consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.  For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.

Data Privacy Rules

Privacy Rules. Or Does It?

Privacy and transparency are two sides of the same coin. With the amount of Data we give and companies consume, we want to know our personal information is safe. We want to know we are safe from illegal use of our information. But as conversations about FaceApp, Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, and Google privacy issues make the rounds again, we now know to be much more cautious. Companies would be wise to follow. States Take the Reins to Enact Privacy Rules Though the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) passed last year in Europe, businesses in the U.S. have not been so constrained. While there is no overarching federal law, states have taken steps to protect the privacy of their residents and have passed their own Data protection laws. Though all 50 states have enacted notification laws to inform consumers if personal information has been compromised, only California and Vermont have instituted laws requiring businesses to make real change in their Data operations. Other states, from Oregon to Virginia have expanded their definitions of identifying information and increased fines to $500,000 for breaches of privacy. These more stringent rules affect such information as that from Electronic Health Records to tax preparers. And when it comes to Data disposal, companies are required to shred or modify in some way any personal information before tossing it away. Student information is particularly protected in Iowa, in which online efforts against selling their information or otherwise siphoning from online profiles are expressly forbidden by state law.  These are just a few of the rules in place and vary slightly from state to state. So, how can you ensure you’re in compliance? Some Tips to Ensure You’re in Compliance If you need to create or amend your Data Management program, here are a few tips to consider: Conduct a gap assessment. What existing procedures are in place which may need to be revised?Ensure your legal teams work closely with your IT, business, and marketing teams to monitor changes and reassess your company’s mitigation controls. How effective are those controls within this legal landscape?Ensure the consumer Data you’re collecting is “critical” to the company. Create a process to receive, review, and fulfil customer requests. But also consider how you handle their information should a customer wish to opt out.Train employees on how to handle personal information. Create and maintain procedures on policy changes and best practices for your Data protection policies. A final note on the above tips, though each state has their own laws, it’s important to consider Golden Rule when it comes to privacy; how would you want your personal information handled? Data is a Commodity. Trust is Valued.  Broken promises have tarnished trust in companies. According to a recent survey by SAP, nearly 70% of customers said they don’t trust brands with their personal information. So as companies strive to offer the best customer experience, remember it’s more than flashing lights and deep discounts.  Customers want to know their personal Data is safe. So how you ensure this is the case and maintain your customer’s trust? Be transparent. Collect customer information with clear intentions and keep your customers informed of changes to policies.  Legal verbiage in policies are to protect companies. It’s time to rethink this strategy and enact policies to protect customers. Though their wariness is warranted, consider how not being transparent and protecting your own business has been detrimental to the customer experience. By being proactive in Data policy compliance laws, you let customers know you’re putting their needs first. That builds trust and loyalty to your business. Isn’t that what every business strives to attain? Even the tech companies realize its import and impact. Earlier this year, tech companies laid out what they’d like to see in federal Data privacy laws. The key takeaway? One set of rules for all is preferred over the slightly differing state laws. If you’re interested in Big Data and Analytics, we may have a role for you. Check out our current vacancies or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.  For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.

How to lead a Data team

How To Lead A Data Team

Dream teams from sports to business are an ideal everyone aspires to live up to. But what is it every basketball or football dynasty has which makes them a dream team? What is it that brings individuals together to overcome odds, set examples, find solutions, and create the next best thing? Good management.  The need for good management is no different in the Data Science world. Yet according to our latest Salary Guide, poor management is one of the top five reasons Data professionals leave companies. So, let’s take a look at what poor management is, what causes it, and how businesses can better retain Data talent. What’s Your Data Science Strategy? Most businesses know they need a Data team. They may also assume that a Data Scientist who performed well can lead a Data team. But that isn’t necessarily the case. Managers have to know things like P&L statements, how to build a business case, make market assessments, and how to deal with people. And that’s just for a start.  The leader of a Data team has a number of other factors to consider as well such as Data Governance, MDM, compliance, legal issues around the use of algorithms, and the list goes on. At the same time, they also need to be managing their team with trust, authenticity, and candor. The list of responsibilities can be daunting and if someone is given too much too soon and without support, it can be a recipe for disaster. Other businesses might believe that a top performing Data Scientist would make a good manager. Yet these are two different fields. Or you might look at it this way. If you are willing to upskill a top performing Data professional and train them in managerial skills, giving them the education and support they need, that is one solution. Another solution is to create a Data Science strategy which brings in people with business backgrounds. Data Science is a diverse field and people come from a number of backgrounds not just Computer Science or Biostatistics, for example.  Now that you’ve seen what might cause a manager to fail, let’s take a look at a few tips to help you succeed. Seven Tips for Managing a Data Team Managing a team is about being able to hire, retain, and develop great talent. But if the manager has no management training, well, that’s how things tend to fall apart. Here a few tips to consider to help ensure you and your team work together to become the dream team of your organization: Build trust by caring about your team. Help define their role within the organization. Ensure projects are exciting and that they’re not being asked to do project with vague guidelines or unrealistic timeframes.Be open and candid. Remember, Data Scientists are trained in how to gather, collect, and analyze information. If anyone can see right through a façade, it will be these Data professionals. Have those “tough” conversations throughout every stage of the hiring, onboarding, and day-to-day, so that no one is caught unaware.Offer consistent feedback. And ask for it for yourself as well from your team.Ensure your team understands the business goals behind their projects. Let them in on the bigger picture. Think long-term recruitment for a permanent role, not short-term. If you have an urgent project, consider contracting it out. Prioritize diversity to include academic discipline and professional experience. Does the way this person view the world expand the knowledge of your team’s knowledge? Dream teams don’t always have to agree. Sometimes, the best solutions are found when there are other opinions. Finding the perfect, “Full Stack” Data Scientist or Data Engineer or Analyst is not impossible, and retaining them can be even easier. If you’ve done your job well, your team will trust you, have a balanced skillset, and understand how their work supports the organization and its goals. For more information on how to be a great manager, check out this article from HBR.  Ready for the next step?  Check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.  For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.

Battle Royale: Computational Biologists Vs Machine Learning Engineers

Battle Royale: Computational Biologists vs Machine Learning Engineers

From the first genome sequencing in the second revolution to Life Science Analytics as a growing field in the fourth industrial revolution, change has been both welcomed and fraught with fear. Everyone worries about robots, Artificial Intelligence, and in some cases even professionals who have stayed current by keeping up-to-date with trends. And it’s beginning to affect not only “office politics” within the tech space, but even interviewer and interviewee relationships. We’ve seen a growing trend of apprehension between Computational Biologists and Machine Learning Engineers. What could be the cause? Aren’t they each working toward a common goal? It seems the answer isn’t quite so cut and dry as we’d like it to be. Here are some thoughts on what could be driving this animosity. But first, a bit of background. So, What’s the Difference? Computational Biology and Machine Learning are two sides of the same coin; one sets the framework and the other applies what’s been learned. Both use statistical and computational methods to construct models from existing databases to create new Data. However, it is within the framework of biomedical problems as computational problems, that there seems to be a bit of a breakdown. It’s one thing to have all the information and all the Data, but its quite another to know how the Data might interact or affect the health and medications of people seeking help. This is the job of those in Life Science Analytics. Determine through Data what needs to be done, quickly, and efficiently, but at the same time, ensure the human element is still active.  A few examples of Computational Biology include concentrations, sequences, images and are used in such areas as Algorithmics, Robotics, and Machine Learning. The job of Machine Learning can help to classify spam emails, recognize human speech, and more. Here’s a good place to start if you’d like to take a deeper dive into the differences between the two or read this article about mindsets and misconceptions. Office Politics in the Tech Space Circling back to the concern between Computational Biologists and Data Scientists with a focus on Machine Learning. The latest around the water cooler within the tech space is that those with a biological background who understand Machine Learning are looked upon as dangerous to the status quo.  But, as many of our candidates know, it’s important to stay on the cutting edge and if that means, upskilling in Machine Learning so you have both the human element as well as the mathematical, robotic components, then that is more marketable than just having one or the other. The learning curve in biology training within the Life Sciences Analytics space means Computational Biologist with a Machine Learning skillset is best able to apply Data Science and computer science tools to more organic and biological datasets. Someone with just a computer science background may not have the depth of knowledge to understand how these models, systems, and data affect and impact medicine. Computational Biologists who are trained simultaneously in computer science and biology, and are a little heavier on the biology side, see Machine Learning Engineers as a threat because utilizing Machine Learning and other cutting-edge tools could mean their job is on the line. They worry their job will fall by the wayside. That when somebody proves Machine Learning is faster and more efficient the impetus might be why hire a Computational Biologist when a Machine Learning engineer will do? It’s like when a lot of people joke about how robots are going to take over the world and everybody will be out of a job. I think the worry with some folks on the Computational Biology side is that maybe they just aren’t up to date with their training or haven’t kept up with cutting edge of technology. With a Recruiter’s Eye While what I’ve seen agrees that, yes, Machine Learning is incredibly helpful and fast and you can get through so much more data. But its still that understanding of biology and chemistry that you will need because you need to be able to understand, for example, how these proteins are going to be reacting with one another or you need to understand how DNA and R&A work, how best to analyze, and what analyzing those things means. On the other hand, just because you know, “oh, this reaction comes out of it”, if you don’t know why that is or how that could impact a drug or a person, then you don’t really have anything to go on. There’s a caveat there. Though there may be concerns among Computational Biologists and Machine Learning Engineers, at both the upper and entry levels, it’s still the technical lead who will say, “we really do need somebody with a biological background because if we get all this Data and don’t really know what to do with it, then we’ll need to hire a Project Manager to converse between the two and that’s an inefficient use of time and resources”. What I hear most often is a company wants a Computational Biologist but they also want someone who knows Machine Learning. But they don’t want to compromise on either because they don’t understand there are limitations to things. We all want the unicorn employee, but we can’t make them fit into a box with too specific parameters. It’s a Fact of Life Any job, whether it’s in the tech industry, the food industry, Ad Optimization, or even recruitment, uses Machine Learning in one way or another. Yet compared to spaces which work on sequencing the human genome, it's amazing to see how far things have come. It used to take days to process DNA. Now you can spit in a tube and send it off to 23andMe to learn a little about your health. That’s what Machine Learning enables people to do. But it doesn’t mean Computational Biologists are going to fall by the wayside. It means there will be times you’ll have to liaise more between the two groups. It means you’ll be more marketable by adding Machine Learning to the work you’re already doing or taking some classes in Computational Science, for example, to keep your skills up to date. It’s a Transparency Issue Ultimately, it seems the heart of this apprehension comes down to a transparency issue. For example, let’s say companies begin to bring in AI people and suddenly the staff already in place begins to get worried about the security of their jobs. Even in an industry tense with skills gaps, the fear still abounds. In coming back to speak with the Hiring Manager, it became clear the animosity is even more prevalent than first imagined. So, it’s important to get input from within the company and develop a unified story, a unified message across departments, and especially within the Life Science Analytics and Data Science teams as well. In other words, “keep people in the loop.” If it’s happening to this company, it seems other companies may be facing this same issue. However, it’s not going away and is creating a kind of competition between the old guard and the up-and-coming startups. For example, any new company is going to want to integrate AI and will be asking the question how best to integrate it into their structure. They might also ask how best to optimize the ads coming through AI. This is just another way of how companies are catching up, but also how people are catching up to the companies.  Technology is coming whether you like it or not. So, if you want to stay marketable and work on really interesting projects, there’s always going to be the challenge of staying up-to-date and different companies attack this in different ways.  Stay open minded, keep an eye and an ear out for ways to stay on top of your game. Even just taking a few minutes to watch a YouTube video, listen to a TedTalk or a podcast, so you can talk about it and be informed. These are some really simple ways to stay on the cutting edge and help you figure out where you can grow and improve for better opportunities. Ready for the next step? Check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.  For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.

Data Engineers: The Workers Behind the Curtain

We’re halfway through the year and our salary guide is out. If you wonder where you are, where you’re going, and if you’re a business, how you’re going to get there. Well, then, you’ve come to the right place. Articles have touted Data Scientists as the “rock stars” of the 21st century, but even rock stars need their managers and roadies. Who else will build the stage and plan the tour? And in the world of data, it all begins with the Data Engineer, laying the groundwork, the foundation, and the framework. These are the stars behind the scenes who make it possible for Data and Data Scientists to be front and center. Send a Data Engineer Over As prevalent as Data has become in our lives and as its importance grows, there remains the challenge of Data Management. If you don’t know why something is built or how to navigate the structure, the Data you do receive may not make much sense. Your guide in this journey is the Data Engineer, one of the most important pieces of your Data Management puzzle.  These highly skilled and sought-after professionals should not be confused with a Software Engineer, though some elements may be transferable between the two. The building blocks to put massive amounts of Data into a scalable system both reliable and secure takes a unique set of skills.  Humans at the Helm as Skills Shift  As much as we depend on Data today to help determine actionable insights for our business and as much as we hear about the rise of machines in the form of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning, it is ultimately humans who are at the helm.  It is the people behind the curtain of Data who will build it, run it, and make it work. It is also people who are typically the biggest costs in a project. Finding the balance and ideal candidate, the right person with the right skills for the job, is critical to success. And if you’re starting from the ground up, Data Engineers who can work with the core tools of databases and Spark, for example, will see their opportunities grow.  In our Salary Guide for 2019, we learned one of the skills most sought after by companies today is knowing AWS/Azure and moving Data Lakes into the Cloud. Small businesses and startups are moving to the Cloud to help them scale their Data, but someone still needs to lay the groundwork, whether it’s for the small business or the public cloud providers. Data Engineers are in high demand and it doesn’t look as though things will be slowing down anytime soon. The field is slick with potential. The Time Has Come for Transparency Data is binary gold and, with enough of it, you can read or estimate the mind of your customer or you can wreak havoc on someone’s life. Just a year ago, the European Union put into place rules and regulations as well as financial consequences for poor Data Governance under the General Data and Protections Regulation Act (GDPR). Though the U.S. doesn’t yet have a similar law, there are still plenty of mandates to be aware of by states, unions, and countries.  One Final Thought As roles and technology evolves, it’s important for businesses, employees, and stakeholders to evolve as well. Whether that means making sure to implement practices for Data transparency or upskilling and reskilling your workforce to keep up or simply knowing the trends of forward-thinking companies to scale your own business. Data fuels digital innovation and organizations who are prepared to find solutions will benefit. Want to know what else is trending in big data? Here are a few trends in Big Data forward-looking organizations should look out for in this year and toward the next. Are you a business who knows you’re ready to scale up and hire a Data professional? We have a strong candidate pool and may have just the person you need to fill your role. Are you a candidate looking for a role in Big Data & Analytics? We specialize in junior and senior roles. Check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more.  For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.   For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.

A Data Engineer is a Unique Blend of Data Professional

From startup and small business to large enterprises, each type of business requires a unique blend of Data professional. Though in today’s world, much of the Data being gathered, catalogued, and analyzed happens both in the Cloud and on a hard drive, each type of business has a different need, budget, goals, and objectives. But there is one thing each and every business will have in common. At the heart of the Data team will be a Data Engineer. The Three Main Roles of a Data Engineer This is an analytics role in high demand. It is a growing and lucrative field with steps and stages for nearly every level of business and education experience. For example, a Data Scientist interested in stepping into a Data Engineer role might begin as a Generalist. In all, there are three main roles for each level and type of business – Generalist, Pipeline-Centric, and Data-Centric. Let’s take a quick look at each of the roles with an eye toward the type of person who might be the best fit: Generalist – Most often found on a small team, this type of Data Engineer is most likely the only Data-focused person in the company. They may have to do everything from build the system to analyze it, and while it carries its own unique set of skills, it doesn’t require heavy architecture knowledge as smaller companies may not yet be focusing on scale. In a nutshell, this might be a good entry point for a Data Scientist interested in upskilling and reskilling themselves to transition into a Data Engineering role.Pipeline-centric – This focus requires more in-depth knowledge working with more complex Data science needs. This type of role is found more often in mid-sized companies as they grow and incorporate a team of Data professionals to help analyze and offer actionable insight for the business. In a nutshell, this role creates a useful format for analysts to gather, collect, and analyze each bit of Data at each stage of development.Database-centric – This role is found most often in larger companies and deals not only with Data warehouses, but is focused on setting up analytics databases. Though there are some elements of the pipeline, this is more fine-tuned. In a nutshell, this role deals with many analysts across a wide distribution of databases. A Fine Balance Between Technical Skills, Soft Skills, and Business Acumen While it’s important for anyone filing this role to have deep knowledge of database design as well as a variety of programming languages, its equally important to understand company objectives. In other words, once the groundwork is laid and the datasets established, it’ll be important to explain what it is the business executives need to know to make the best decisions for their business.  Knowing how and what to communicate to executives, stakeholders, and your Data team also means understanding how to best retrieve and optimize the information for reporting. Depending on your organization’s size, you may need both a Data Analyst or Scientist and a Data Engineer. Though this is less likely in medium and larger enterprises. On the flip side, in order to understand the business’ needs, you’ll also need to be good at creating reliable pipelines, architecting systems and Data stores, and collaborating with your Data Science team to build the right solutions. Each of these skills are meant to help you understand concepts to build real-world systems no matter the size of your business. One Final Thought… Do you like to build things? Tweak systems? Take things apart and see how they work, then put them back together better and more efficient than before? Then Data Engineering might be for you. Are you a business who knows you’re ready to scale up and hire a Data professional? We have a strong candidate pool and may have just the person you need to fill your role. Are you a candidate looking for a role in big Data and analytics? We specialize in junior and senior roles. Check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more.  For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.   For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.

The Harnham 2019 Data & Analytics Salary Guide Has Arrived

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our 2019 Data & Analytics Salary Guide. With over 1,500 respondents across the USA, this year’s guide is our largest and most insightful yet.  Looking at your responses, it is overwhelmingly clear that the Data & Analytics industry is continuing to thrive. This has led to an incredibly active market with 72% in the US willing to leave their role for the right opportunity.  Salary expectations remain high, although we’re seeing that candidates, on average, expect 10% more than they actually achieve when moving between roles.  We’ve also seen a change in the reasons people give for leaving a position, with a lack of career progression overtaking an uncompetitive salary as the main reason for seeking a change.   There also remains plenty of room for industry improvement when looking at gender parity; the US market is only 23% female, falling to 17% in Data Engineering roles and 16% in the Data Science space.  In addition to our findings, the guide also include insights into a variety of markets and recommendations for both those hiring, and those seeking a new role.  You can download your copy of the guide here.

The Landscape Of The Emerging Biotech Industry And Data Science In HR

One of the latest technologies to emerge to disrupt an industry is Biotechnology. This industry is booming and is no longer confined to universities and research labs. These are the people who build drugs to combat diseases and are expected to comprise a quarter of the market by 2020, less than 6 months from now. So, what does that mean for HR? A Streak of Lightning Across the Life Sciences Biotechnology has grown at an impressive 5% across revenue streams, number of businesses, and number of employees. It is a lightning streak across the Life Sciences and shows no signs of slowing down. In a field expected to corner a quarter of the market as soon as next year, it’s important to have the right people in place. We already know there is a skills gap in the Data Science industry, but the predictions show it's time to upskill the current workforce. Companies will need people who have the right skills and can implement them into action. Technology has disrupted every industry and R&D is no different. This means work life is being redesigned as the Biotech industry demands not only technical and Life Science skills, but also more human skills. The challenge is ensuring businesses understand the impact these technologies will have now, and in the future. If they don’t act, their business could stagnate. It’s important executives see applications at work and implement the changes needed to “keep up with the Joneses” of the tech world. In other words, leaders must find a balance between rapidly advancing technologies and the human insight those technologies provide. Redesign Your Ideal Candidate While digital and analytical skills should be standard for just about any industry, there are other things to consider when interviewing. Hiring Managers, recruiters, and businesses over all, will also be looking for the following ImaginationCuriosityEmotional Intelligence You may not be a doctor exactly, but do still have to deal with people. Organizations will need employees who not only ask why, but take the steps to find the solution, and at the same time can navigate an emotionally charged project such any client-facing research when discussing cancer therapies, for example. Transferable Skills are Key If you pivot well and can learn and understand projects on a dime, then this is a good industry for you. If you’re a business and you want to scale up quickly, it may be best to upskill or reskill, your current employees. With talent scarce in the market, this may be the best solution for you. Building transferable skills, being flexible, and having a strong academic background will help, too. Companies actively working to skill their workforce to work with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence technologies are just a few of the trends coursing through the Biotech industry. Add to that the myriad researchers, corporations, and governments focused on combatting diseases using available technologies, and its expected growth could make it one of the most efficient and prosperous industries in the digital landscape. Making HR Data Work for You Businesses are using HR data to see how they can get a deeper understanding of employees as a whole. Are they overwhelmed? Do they need to rest? Do they need to be challenged? Are they bored? How can you, as a business, help them to enhance not only their performance, but that of your business. Finding exciting new recruitment channels Much like you know to go where your customers are, the same holds true today when you’re trying to fill a role. Focus your efforts are on where the talent is, don’t wait for them to come to you. And with the average recruitment process averaging 71 days, the name of the game is “don’t delay” for your perfect candidate may have already moved on to something else. Engaging and motivating staff Think of your employees as internal customers. Engage with them as you would any customer, and make your employee a partner in your vision. Now, it’s easier than ever to measure, improve, and boost employee satisfaction using available data and analytics options. Making learning and development more effective Learning has become a highly personal, adaptive tool offering course selections. Because online courses are so prevalent, it’s much easier for an employee to learn a new skill without time and expense away from the office. The digital transformation of this space shows how data can be used in corporate learning and professional development opportunities. This is where you’ll want to focus some of your energy should you need to upskill or reskill your employees to keep up with demand. Are you a business who knows you’re ready to scale up and hire a data professional? We have a strong candidate pool and may have just the person you need to fill your role. Are you a candidate looking for a role in big data and analytics?  We specialize in junior and senior roles. Check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.  For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.

Common Mistakes About Data Science And Your Role Within It

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of speaking at ODSC East, as the best future talent Data Science talent gathered together to discuss the direction of our industry.  With Data Science becoming such a broad term that covers a number of functions, and with the rise of new areas such as Blockchain, AI and ML, I wanted to talk about what it actually means to be a Data Scientist now, and in the future.  With this in mind, we conducted a survey over the course of the event where we asked what Data Science meant to the people there. Here’s what we found out: WHAT IS DATA SCIENTIST, ACTUALLY? Every company thinks they need one, and every analyst wants to be one, but more and more job titles that are not necessarily Data Science are now being billed as Data Scientists. In fact, when we asked people what they considered their job title to be, regardless of experience, Data Science came out on top: Data Scientist: 58% Data Analyst: 22% Machine Learning Engineer: 10% Business Intelligence Analyst: 9%  However, from my experience, this is not necessarily accurate. I once worked with the Senior Manager of Data Science in a very well established Retailer. He’d been there for less than one year and was already on the job market. In his interview he had been told that the company were fully behind investing in a top-class Data Science department but had actually ended up managing a team of people who were building dashboards creating reports for all areas of the business. This is much less Data Science, and much more Business Intelligence.  This confusion is quite typical within the industry and frequently needs to both unhappy employers and employees.  MORE THAN JUST TOOLS One common mistake when it comes to misidentifying Data Scientists is a result of people focusing on the tools people use. Whilst both Data Scientists and Marketing & Insight specialists might be skilled up in Python, R and SQL, their methodologies are significantly different. When asked to define a true Data Scientist at the event, 73% of people agreed the definition is: “A person who uses scientific methods, processes, algorithms and systems to extract knowledge and insights from structured and unstructured data.” Companies who panic about needing a Data Scientist to keep up with their competitors often ignore these crucial points and end up listing  every tool on a job spec. Frequently those who claim they want a Data Scientist actually want an Insight Analyst who can understand how customers behave, what they respond well to, what they’re talking about on social media, and how this unstructured data can be used to help their business make better decisions. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME? For someone wanting to work in the Data & Analytics field there is one key rule: Know Yourself.  Think carefully about aspects within your Science, Operational Research, Statistics, and Analytics in general that you enjoy and how you can work them into your career. If you’re in college and just starting your career, don’t limit yourself by the sectors you think you have to work in; enjoy gaming? The gaming industry uses Data to make characters more lifelike, make sure they move in real-time and ensure that they play in a realistic way.  Just as crucial, however, is having an understanding of what the analytical teams around you do. Consider what roles they play in your business and how you are all interlinked, whilst being aware of the unique differences between roles. And, outside of analytics, those who understand what impact their work has on a business will always stand out amongst a crowd.  Essentially, don’t let yourself be limited by the title of Data Scientist. There are hundreds of roles within Data & Analytics so think about which one is right for you, rather than following the crowd.  If you’re looking for your next opportunity in Data & Analytics, or are looking to build out a team, take a look at our latest roles or get in touch with one of our expert consultants: For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.   For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.  Or, if you'd like to talk to me directly about anything I've talked about above, feel free to drop me a line at jennikavanagh@harnham.com.

Relocation Tips for Your Coast to Coast Move

Long before Microsoft held the tech fort in Washington, Boeing touched down. Rooted in tech, the Pacific Northwest has seen its share of hubs and does in fact boast the most jobs of the industry.  From the Big Apple to Apple’s HQ in California and Amazon’s orange smile in Washington State, the digital gold rush remains planted in the West. Not to be outdone, Google’s HQ and Microsoft square off as well in the Pacific Northwest. And like the Wild West, it’s a culture all its own. There’s no shortage of jobs, though Seattle, WA – desperately seeking experienced talent - and Portland, OR – work from home (WFH) opportunities - ply their workers in wildly different ways. Here are a few trends to consider as you debate if you should stay or go: Three Reasons to Make the LeapMake a Local Connection - The Silicon Forest, a play on California’s Silicon Valley, can be a bit intimidating to those outside the tech arena. But with a robust community of like-minded locals, groups, and events, it’s easy to find your tribe. Not interested in group functions? Not to worry. Portland boasts an abundance of remote worker opportunities to suit any personality.Get Your Resume Tech-Ready – With the rise of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), be sure your resume is laser-focused for a smooth transition. Even if you’re moving with a job already in hand, it doesn’t hurt to keep your credentials sharp. If you’re moving with family, helping them get their resume ready can ease their transition and job search as well. A Move to the PacNW Can Mean Lower Relocation Costs – Why? No sales tax. Well, not in Portland. On the flip side, Seattle doesn’t have income state tax. Either way, your check’s just a little bit bigger in the NW.Need more reasons to choose to move to the Emerald City of Seattle or the Silicon Forest of Oregon? Check it out here. TIME TO PUT A PLAN TOGETHER So, you've negotiated a relocation package, but you can't just pack up without a plan. What should be the number one item on your to-do list for your big move? Create a Budget – Moving costs can add up quickly. Whether you’ve been offered relocation assistance or not, it’s a good idea to have a budget so you know what to expect and can plan for any contingencies and unforeseen issues during your move. Include everything involved in a move, including packing boxes within your budget. Other things to consider?MoversGasLodging and Meals (along the way)o Grocery bills. Don’t forget,  you’ll also need lightbulbs, paper towels, batteries…all those little things which aren’t on your mind until you need them. Before You Can Stock Your Place, You Need to Find One – Finding Temporary or Rental Housing - While many companies offer temp housing until you can find more permanent placement, not everyone has that luxury. But, if the offer is made, take it. On the flip side, it can be difficult to find housing in an area you’re not familiar with, and can add to big move worries. However, there have been a few companies which have come online in the last few years to help with the housing search. One option, though, if you’re pressed for time is an AirBnB stay as many of them offer a discount for lengthier stays usually with a minimum of a month or more. Homeaway.com is another temporary rental option as is Sublet.com. Make All the Necessary Appointments as Soon as Possible - Try to organize your appointments and expected arrivals of furniture and such to happen on the same day or within a few consecutive days. This way, you can make your new boss aware of possible absences. They and their inbox will thank you.Start Building Your Network – Whether you’re looking to eventually by house, want to get setup in a new rental which offers a bit more permanence, or just want to know where the best restaurants are, and get settled into your new city, start building your network. Plenty of businesses offer get togethers at work, but consider building a network outside of your work life – go to meetups, attend local events, volunteer. Get in the habit of saying yes to new opportunities and activities. Making the effort can go a long way in enriching your new experience and helps to bring you more fully into experience your newfound digs. There is so much which goes into a move, whether its state-to-state, city-to-city, across the country, or around the world. But having a plan, making connections, and communicating openly with your new boss can help take some of the stress off moving. And whether you’ve negotiated a relocation package or are coordinating it on your own, there are plenty of ways to keep your eye on the prize and relax once you get to the other side and settled into your new job. Our brick-and-mortar locations are in San Francisco, New York, Berlin, and London, but we have clients around the world. Whether you’re looking for a permanent or a contract role, we’ve got you covered. Check out our current vacancies for opportunities or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more.  For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.   For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com. 

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