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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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How To Lead A Remote Team

GitHub. How-To Geek. Toptal. Zapier. These are just a few of the businesses which have been 100% remote since their inception. On the front lines of the remote working lifestyle, they understand the benefits and the challenges businesses new to remote teams are facing. In recent years, some businesses tried offering remote working, then pulled workers back in house. Some offer part-time work-from-home opportunities, but still required a few days in the office. In today’s climate, businesses have been forced to develop remote working strategies and everyone is learning how to manage this new way of doing business. There are a variety of apps and software to help businesses work as close to the old ways as possible. So, as remote workers learn how to balance their personal and professional lives while at home, leaders also must learn how to manage remotely. Below are a few immediate benefits of remote teams for business. Three Immediate Benefits of Remote Working Less overheadsLess office politicsIncreased productivity However, there’s more to leading remote workers than the above. As teams tighten, it’s important to ensure everyone is on the same page. Most of what’s been done within the office walls can also be done virtually. Planning a staff meeting? Zoom. WebEx. GoToMeeting. Google Hangouts. Microsoft Teams. These are all video conferencing call software applications you can use to not only conduct your weekly staff meetings, but client meetings as well. Record the meetings so you can refer to comments or questions, you may have missed or to refresh your memory of planned next steps. Managing projects? Think Trello. Asana. Monday. Basecamp. Slack. Assign teams. Have a space just for brainstorming or just for fun. Emulate the office environment of those quick hallway meetings and watercooler chats. Need to access documents from anywhere? Google Drive. Dropbox. Box. These are just a few of the applications which allow anyone with a link to jump in and add their two cents, comment or correct. Does your team have all the necessary equipment? Computers, phones, access codes, passwords? How can you help them best do their jobs? These are just a few things to think about when planning for and leading remote teams.  Leading Remote Teams One of the issues remote workers once faced was “out of sight, out of mind” leadership. In an office, it can be easy for a manager to walk past someone and communicate on the fly or for remote workers to feel left out in company events, strategy sessions, or general camaraderie with others in the office. Companies who have always been or are moving to fully virtual teams have now levelled the playing field. However, this change marks just how important communication is for your team. Often, the best managers will check-in regularly. These managers are good listeners who offer feedback, check on progress, and determine if there’s too much workload or if an employee is ready to take on another project. Managers who communicate without micromanaging engage in trust and accountability of their employees. Having this kind of ownership of habits and behaviors can improve productivity and the trust goes both ways. Reach out to everyone on your team regularly. To ensure you’re including everyone when you assign tasks or projects, it’s a good idea to have a list of employees with their photos. Set Clear Boundaries and Guidelines It’s even more important when working from home to set clear hours for working and avoid burnout. Add to this the best methods of communication to use such as a project management app like Slack, a quick text or Skype call, or an email. Don’t forget to make allowances for how things like childcare may be handled as many are not only working from home, but may also be homeschooling, too. Ensuring everyone is clear on when they can turn to colleagues versus when they should reach out to their leaders helps put everyone on the same page.  Keep Everyone Connected Remote working is a lifestyle. But not everyone may be ready for it or have the personality for it. One benefit of the brick-and-mortar office is camaraderie and connection, even if it’s just a smile and wave in the hallway. Even the most resolute remote workers feel lonely and disconnected at times. Staying on task can feel paramount to success, but to meet the new challenges of a virtual team go a little deeper. Not only is it important to make time for personal interaction, but businesses can organize virtual check-ins and fun events. Think Trivia time, funny videos or GIFs, even virtual pizza parties.  It’s important in this time of social distancing and remote working lifestyle to stay connected and engaged with your workforce. It could even make your business stronger and more in sync than ever before. Not only can it be of benefit to your business, but can also offer and open up opportunities for more future employees. Without a location base, you open yourself up for the right person for the job, no matter where they are.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 get in touch one of our expert consultants to learn more.   For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.   For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.  

Drawing the Line Between Work and Family When Working Remotely

So, you’ve been told to work from home. Finally, more time with the family… Wait, more time with the family? How will you get your work done while also homeschooling your children? Maybe you’re married and your spouse is home, too. The routine of work has been disrupted, and though many businesses were already turning to remote work, this is something else.  So, how do you morph from leaving the house to go to the office to simply walking into your kitchen or home office to begin your day? In other words, how do you draw the line between work and family when you’re working from home? We know it can be difficult and unsettling in this troubled time, so we have a few tips to get you started. Getting Started in Your Remote Working Lifestyle DEFINE YOUR WORK SPACE What room can you designate in your house to be your “office.” It’s best to have someplace with a door, but this isn’t always possible. Is it the kitchen table? Ok, but this will mean you need to set strict ground rules about the hours you’re “on.” Make sure everyone understands when you’re “at work.” Whether it’s your kitchen table, a quiet room, or the end of your sofa with your laptop, these are your remote working tools. In some cases, it may even be a good idea to invest in noise-canceling headphones to help you stay focused. HAVE SET HOURS Define what hours you’re working and stick to them. Begin and end your day at the same time. Don’t forget to schedule breaks – coffee break, lunch, a stretch of the legs – around the same time each day as well. Work with your team to set hours for when you’ll be online working and respond to off-hour messages within your working hours. Without designated hours, it can feel like you’re constantly available and always “on” blurring the lines between work and family. Get some fresh air when you can. Step outside for a walk or a coffee, whatever brings you outside can help recharge and energize you for the work ahead. ENSURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TOOLS Remote working apps, videoconferencing tools, and cloud-based filing systems help ensure the job gets done. Make sure you keep your passwords in a safe place and be extra cautious when logging in from a new location. Is your computer up-to-date? Does it have all the security measures and capacity in place for the additional online tools and apps you may need to add? Making sure you address these things can help to solidify your workspace and ensure you’re able to meet with your team online and get the job done. FOLLOW THE 20-20-20 RULE The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes look away from your screen and focus your eyes on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. TAKE A BREAK FROM TALKING ABOUT WORK If you’re not used to working-from-home, loneliness can quickly set in. Remember those quick hallway chats or discussions over lunch or coffee? Take that impulse and use it when talking with your team. Have a virtual coffee break. Take a break from work and talk about hobbies, something funny that happened to you, or even just how you’re feeling away from everyone. You won’t be alone in these feelings with everyone in the same work-from-home boat. These tips can help you put your best foot forward for your remote working lifestyle. But don’t forget, you can use these same rules for family time, too. 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 remote Big Data & Analytics opportunities, we may have a role for you. Take a look at our current vacancies or contact one of our expert consultants to find out more.   For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.   For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.  

How Computer Vision Engineers Develop the Eyes of AI

Facial Recognition software. Autonomous vehicles. Drone delivery. Robotics in manufacturing. 3D Printing. No longer the stuff of science fiction, these advancements are at the heart of the next evolution in the digital age. Developments are not just being made in the tech hubs of Silicon Valley, Austin, or New York, but in the mid-West. Ann Arbor, Michigan home to the University of Michigan and not too far from where Henry Ford first introduced mass production with the help of automation has been advancing robotic technologies across a variety of fields.  Giving machines their own set of eyes does require someone to ensure they have the right information to do their jobs. Enter the Computer Vision Engineer. It’s estimated this field will see a rise of 19% demand through 2026. It’s also a relatively small field with only 5,400 new job openings. So, like many professions, demand is high yet a shortage remains of those Data professionals with the right skillsets. The Business of a Computer Vision Engineer While there are a variety of roles within the field of Computer Vision, the role of Computer Vision engineer focuses on two areas. Those areas are: Writing code in Python/C++ Integrate Data Visualization, image analysis, and imaging simulation controls In addition to these areas, these scientists focus on research, implementation, reaching across teams both human and machine to help solve real world problems. And as important as knowledge and application theory are, it’s the hands-on experience which raises the bar for most employers and client companies.  Using image recognition, machine learning, and segmentation can help machines learn to differentiate various images. Being able to “see” what the computer may see and correcting it to ensure it’s more like human vision takes a special skillset. This can include: Computer Vision librariesDatabase managementComponent or object-oriented softwareAnalytical, logical, and critical thinkingClear reasoning It’s these skillsets along with a background in mathematics and computer languages like C++ which pave the Computer Vision engineer career path.  The Future of Computer Vision  The days of the generalist are long behind us. Now, more than ever, technologies like machine vision require a dedicated focus. With every field from healthcare to law enforcement to manufacturing utilizing these technologies, the future of Computer Vision performs a broader range of functions.   In Ann Arbor, at the University of Michigan and in partnership with Ford Motor Company, advancements race through every field not the least of which is manufacturing. As they transition toward full automation using the Internet of Things and more autonomous processes, it’s even more important to ensure Computer Vision models understand what they’re “seeing.” Computer Vision engineers will help to advance technologies which make machines easier to train and more easily figure out images better than they do now. Used in conjunction with other technologies like neural networks and other subsets of AI, machines will be able to see and interpret in the same way humans see and interpret.  And as far as we’ve come, there remains more applications and benefits not yet explored. The possibilities are endless. Current and future advancements will pave the way for AI to be as human as we are bringing our once science fiction ideas to life.  One Final Thought… Though Computer Vision engineering can be drilled down to even more focused professions, the term itself is broad. But the specializations are basic with a demand for not only highly skilled professionals with the right educational background, but also hands-on experience. This detail is more important now than ever before, especially for Computer Vision teams seeking leadership roles who can take their applications to the next level and on a global scale.  Some of the basic specializaitons include, but are not limited to: Camera imaging geometryFeature detection and matchingImage classification and scene analysis 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 ready to take the next step in your career, we may be able to help. Take a look at our current vacancies or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to learn more.   For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.   For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.  

Why You Should Always Be Learning In Data Science: Tips From Kevin Tran

Last month we sat down with Kevin Tran, a Senior Data Scientist at Stanford University, to chat about Data Science trends, improvements in the industry, and his top tips for success in the market.  As one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices of 2019 within Data & Analytics. his thoughts on the industry regularly garner hundreds of responses, with debates and discussions bubbling up in the comments from colleagues eager to offer their input.  This online reputation has allowed him to make a name for himself, building out his own little corner of the internet with his expertise. But for Tran, it’s never been about popularity. “It’s not about the numbers,” he says without hesitation. “I don’t care about posting things just to see the number of likes go up.” His goal is always connection, to speak with others and learn from them while teaching from his own background. He’s got plenty of stories from his own experiences. For him, sharing is a powerful way to lead others down a path he himself is still discovering.  When asked about the most important lesson he’s learned in the industry, he says it all boils down to staying open to new ideas.  “You have to continue to learn, and you have to learn how to learn. If you stop learning, you’ll become obsolete pretty soon, particularly in Data Science. These technologies are evolving every day. Syntax changes, model frameworks change, and you have to constantly keep yourself updated.”  He believes that one of the best ways to do that is through open discussion. His process is to share in order to help others. When he has a realisation, he wants to set it in front of others to pass along what he’s learned; he wants to see how others react to the same problem, if they agree or see a different angle. It’s vital to consider what you needed to know at that stage. Additionally, this exchange of ideas allows Tran to learn from how others tackle the same problems, as well as get a glimpse into other challenges he may have not yet encountered.  “When I mentor people, I’m still learning, myself,” Tran confesses. “There’s so much out there to learn, you can’t know it all. Data Science is so broad." At the end of the day, it all comes down to helping each other and bringing humanity back to the forefront. In fact, this was his biggest advice for both how to improve the industry and how to succeed in it. It’s a point he comes back to with some regularity in his writing. “It doesn’t matter how smart you are, stay humble and respect everyone,” one post reads. “Everyone can teach you something you don’t know.” Treating people well, understanding their needs, and consciously working to see them as people instead of numbers or titles—this, Tran argues, is how you succeed in the business. To learn and grow, you must work with people, especially people with different skills and mindsets. Navigating your career is not all technical, even in the world of Data. “The thing that cannot be automated is having a heart,” he tells me sagely. Beyond this, Tran stresses the need for a solid foundation. The one thing you can’t afford to do is take shortcuts. You have to learn the practicalities and how to apply them, but to be strong in theory as well.  Understanding what is happening underneath the code will keep you moving forward. He compares knowing the tools to learning math with a calculator. “If you take the calculator away, you still need to be able to do the work. You need the underlying skills too, so that when you’re in a situation without the calculator, you can still provide solutions.” By constantly striving to collaborate and improve, Tran believes the Data industry has the best chance of innovating successfully.  If you’re looking for a new challenge in an innovative and collaborative environment, 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. 

Coronavirus Update: What to expect from Harnham

As we learn more about COVID-19, we want to inform you of the proactive measures Harnham have taken to ensure the health and safety of our employees, while continuing to provide the best possible service to you.  The majority of our service offering will be unaffected by the current situation. All staff are continuing to work remotely and are on hand to support you, although you may experience slight delays in communication or find our phone lines busy. In these instances, we'd ask that you contact the member of the Harnham team that you were last in contact with directly. If you need to find their details, you can contact them via their online profile. Alternatively, you can also contact us via our social media channels and directly via email to our main inbox (UK/EU and USA).  Our Operations and Technology team have been working around the clock over the past weeks to ensure that we are able to continue running processes virtually. This has ensured that we are able to provide our clients with virtual meeting spaces, alongside the opportunity to conduct video interviews and calls without the need for face to face interaction.  We are working with a number of businesses who are continuing to hire, supporting them as they begin putting in place alternative processes. We will be in contact with all candidates who are currently in any process to update on the current situation or any change to process.  If you are currently looking for a new role, all our open vacancies have been updated on our website which you can view here.  In the coming weeks our Marketing Team will be running a number of events such as webinars and online Q&A sessions. I would advise that if you are not already following us on Social Media (Twitter and LinkedIn), that you do so to ensure you don’t miss these. We are also working to provide a range of comprehensive guides covering the challenges that you may face in the current climate.  I’d also like to add, if you have yet to take part in the Harnham 2020 Salary Survey please take a moment to do so, we will be extending this for a further two weeks due to unprecedented demand. All those that take part will be the first to receive a copy of the report.  In the meantime, we're running as close to business as normal as we possibly can, and are still here to support you with any hiring or job-seeking needs. We hope that you are able to look after yourself through this trying time and we look forward to working closely together again when normality returns.  

Why A Work-Life Balance Matters Now More Than Ever

Contrary to sitcoms, work life balance isn’t about sitting in coffee shops contemplating life and complaining about work. However, there are plenty of jobs where you can work from or in a coffee shop. The rise of virtual, remote, and contractual roles has contributed to the demand for work life balance. But, sometimes, in our tech-led world, where business can follow us anywhere, the balance becomes more about setting boundaries. It’s about putting down our mobile phones, closing our laptops, and dipping our toes into other waters. Where Does Your Country Fit on the Work-Life Balance Scale? European countries have been leading the way with work-life balance for some time, with the Netherlands topping the list at number one. With the US sitting at number 30 out of the 38 countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), what’s tipping the scales?11.4% of Americans work 50 or more hours per week versus 0.5% of people in the Netherlands work those long hours.  The average American is therefore only setting aside 14.4 hours for leisure and personal care (including eating and sleeping) a day versus those in the Netherlands who dedicate 15.9 hours. Countries in the Nordics work a maximum of 48-hours per week. However, the reality is significantly lower, with the Finnish working an average of 36.2 hours a week, the Swedes 35.9 hours, Norwegians at 34 hours, and the Danes just 32 hours..Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland have become renowned for fostering optimal work-life balance. But, though the Netherlands sits at the number one spot on the OECD, the Danes top the list as the happiest in the world.The Danish welfare model, characterized by quality of life and a good work-life balance offers:Flexible working conditions and social support networks, including maternity leave and childcare facilities. A high degree of flexibility at work – often including adaptable start times and the ability to work from home. Lunch breaks are often at a designated time each day, enabling colleagues to interact, eat together, and get away from their desks. There is a minimum 5 weeks’ paid holiday for all wage earners. The Danish welfare society is characterized by quality of life and a good work-life balance. Work-life balance for the Danes is a healthy balance of priorities. As important as career and ambition is, are is just as important to balance life outside work (pleasure, leisure, family, and health). This understanding of balance not only puts Denmark at the top of the international equality table, it also contributes to a generally high standard of living.Further research shows 33% of working American adults work over the weekend and on holidays. This, in turn, has led 66% to say they don’t feel they have a good work-life balance. One of the main drivers contributing to the need to always be “on” and available is 24/7 technology. For example, if an employer emails, texts, or rings an employee at dinnertime, the employee often feels compelled to answer straightaway. While 57% of those surveyed feel technology has ruined the family dinner, 40% believe it is okay to answer an urgent call or email at the dinner table. So, it comes back to boundaries and not feeling guilty about ‘switching off’ for a few hours or a few days to ‘recharge’.WHAT COMPANIES ARE DOING TO IMPROVE WORK-LIFE BALANCE Nordic businesses remain at the top of the list for best work-life balance. Though much of it is dictated by strict Nordic Labor laws, companies outside the Nordics are beginning to take pages from their playbook. At a business in Helsinki, Finland, employees are encouraged to go home on time at the end of their day. Often this falls around 5:00pm, though leaving earlier to say, go to a child’s sports activity, is always a guilt-free option.  Like many European businesses, employees also receive five weeks of paid vacation each year. Everyone gets stock options and teams are small with the ability to make autonomous decisions. The theory: this team is closest to the project, they know what is best for it. No management approval required, but only to help share in lessons learned.Many Nordic businesses have shortened hours and a focus on family. By putting family first, businesses report improved productivity and innovation, less absenteeism, and reductions in staff turnover. Other benefits can include:The ability to leave work 30-minutes early to pick up kids from school or take them to sports practiceThe ability to use sick days to take care of sick childrenBusinesses regularly offer gym memberships, event discounts, leadership classes, and team-building exercises as well as opportunities for employees to take courses and further their education. At one business, in Sweden, for example, employees have access to a leisure center and recreational activities such as fishing, tennis, and swimming.Though everyone has their own definition of what work-life balance means to them, it can be difficult to follow without government mandates, like in some European countries, or if you’re a small business.Our UK and Europe Salary Guide showed that, with over 98% of respondents working full time, at least some flexibility is now expected. We found that 53% of respondents work at home at least one day a week, and 56% have flexible working hours, highlighting that these ‘benefits’ are now becoming the norm. HARNHAM LIFEAs a business, we try to both reflect, and the lead the way with, developments that we see across the Data & Analytics industry. From ensuring our consultants leave on time two days per week to participate in pursuits outside work, to offering one fully-paid Charity Day per year, we place emphasis on creating an environment where our teams feel like they have a good work-life balance. By building a culture where a consultant can set up a book club or arrange a night out on the town, we have formed a business where employee welfare is prioritized. Though everyone has their own definition of what work-life balance means to them, it can be difficult to follow without government mandates like in some European countries or if you’re a small business. The important thing is to do what’s right for you and sometimes turn off your phone, close your laptop, and meet up with some family or friends in that coffee shop. Whether you’re looking for a role with more benefits or a better work-life balance, 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.  For our East Coast and Mid-West teams please call 212-796-6070, or email newyorkinfo@harnham.com. For the West Coast team call 415-614-4999 or email sanfraninfo@harnham.com.

How Computer Vision Is Changing Healthcare

It may seem like every new decade we have a new technology to master. But what if we’ve flipped the script? Now AI has a new technology to master. I'm talking about Computer Vision. Just like humans learn to identify shapes into objects as children, so too, must the technologies we’ve created.  Why? Because autonomous vehicles need to know the difference between a tree and a person holding their grocery bags. Because manufacturing bots need to identify defective products before they go to the public. And in healthcare, Computer Vision can help us identify disease, help doctors make diagnoses, and dig deeper into what makes humans human. Three Trends to Watch  Already, systems have a 99% accuracy rate at emulating human sight. Like our own calculations when we “see” an object, machines will have to process, analyze, and understand the image as well. Thanks to Machine Learning and Neural Networks using pattern recognition, this is possible. What could this mean for the healthcare industry? Imaging Devices like X-Rays and MRI Machines will get smaller and more mobile. This trend will allow simpler imaging, quicker workflows, and live imaging for quicker diagnoses.Next Generation Phenotyping (NGP) allows predictive diagnoses using Computer Vision and Deep Learning to analyze data at the molecular level. Telemedicine to open greater access to your doctor rather than the traditional brick-and-mortar doctor’s office visit. Electronic Health Records (EHR) for a patient profile gives direct access to patient information and could reduce the cost of logistics and gaps in expertise. And Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) allows for real-time medical decisions to flow between patient-doctor without the ubiquitous red tape traditional medicine brings. Recent advancements in visual technologies will have a strong impact in a variety of industries. But it’s in the healthcare industry, Computer Vision, AI, and IoT will particularly shine as the technologies converge for greater progress in healthcare.  AIoT and Image-Based Data Converge for Improved Outcomes  There are such a variety of uses for Computer Vision in medicine, it can be hard to imagine where it can't be used. When you consider how much medical data is image-based such as mammograms, MRIs, CT Scans, X-Rays, and Echocardiograms, it’s easy to see how patients will benefit.  Imagine getting an early diagnosis to stop the spread of cancer or stopping dementia in its tracks. These systems alone can assist with surgery, identify problems early, and more. When your medical team of institutions, providers, and patients have access to these systems and truly partner, then this becomes the future of healthcare.    Add to improvements in computer vision, the rapidly advancing technologies of AI, and IoT and watch how quickly problem-solving scenario outcomes improve across all industries. Much like the last convergence of mobile phones and the internet, AIoT will usher in a new era of human history in similar fashion. Risk and Reward of AIoT, ML, and Computer Vision With greater advancement, comes greater risk and reward. As sensors and connectivity multiply across devices and industries, renewed focus should include privacy and security. Such large volumes of Data, even within the healthcare industry, can be targets for hackers as well as government entities. It may seem strange to consider this in the light of the healthcare vertical, but imagine the repercussions of denials due to medical issues or the inverse of identity theft.  The convergence of AIoT and Computer Vision technologies use complex algorithms for predictive analytics. Add Machine Learning into the mix and watch workflows streamline, simplified problem-solving unfold, and improved reliability and sustainability of data capture and how it can enhance an organization’s processes.  In the cumbersome world of healthcare and its institutions, Computer Vision, AI, IoT, and Machine Learning offer a simpatico balance between patient and provider that flips traditional healthcare upside down. Advancements within the last few years and in the coming decade are primed to bridge the gap between patient and provider. But it’s going to need Data professionals who have a passion for the industry and can guide these technologies to the next stages in their development. The Computer Vision industry is supercharged and is expected to reach $48.6 billion by 2022. Ready to see where the latest technologies can take you? If you’re interested in Computer Vision, Big Data, and Analytics, Robotics, and more, 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 contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.  

Machine Learning and Customer Experience for Business Scalability

Over the last four decades, we’ve feared change. Technophobia. Cyberspace. Smart devices. AI, Robotics and Automation. Each of these transformative shifts have changed our lives in one way or another. But there is a new, unexpected and desperately needed change already in play; putting the human back in our lives.  Human Resources. Human-centric customer service. Humans in cooperation and collaboration with smart technology. Both in B2B and B2C businesses, putting the human back in focus is imperative to success.  Consider Netflix. How it began, how it’s evolved, and how its efforts are seemingly leading the way for next gen personalization. Think: If you like this, then you may like (insert service or product here). Amazon does much the same. Putting the Human Element Back in CX When you call customer service with a concern or problem. What happens? Either there’s no phone number at all and you’re forced to send an email which you hope gets read by a person. Or if you do call, you push buttons trying to figure out which branch of the tree will get you to the correct person.  Chatbots have been one answer but they really only alleviate acknowledgement. We’ve all called a customer service number and spoken to two or more people about our issue. Bill Paterson, EVP of Salesforce, suggests a four-point, human-centric customer service engagement strategy, to help solve the problem.  In addition, his article takes a deeper dive into putting the human back in customer service. At the heart of the matter is putting Emotional Intelligence, care, and empathy back into the equation. Technology may be how people reach out, but it’s a human they want to speak to and connect with. When the two are paired, there’s a much better chance of success. And repeat customers. Pairing Machine Learning with a Human-Centric Touch While strategies and metrics still have a big role to play, there are other ways to measure customer success. Data gathered from your customers will only get you so far, but the human element, the human connection, supported by technology, is the next shift in Digital Transformation.  Machine Learning models can help predict what customers will want or need, but meaningful customer relationships are just as vital. It’s this pairing which can generate great service and scalability of today’s modern business. Though there is a strong underpinning of engineering components in building models, only a portion involves code. Much of the effort goes into the pipeline and workflow systems and infrastructure. It’s at this systems level, Data Scientists can focus on design and implementation of production. This strategy ensures that before building good models, a good foundation must be laid. One portion of this workflow has been called the ‘art of Machine Learning’. The ‘Art’ of Machine Learning  Data Scientists and Machine Learning Engineers have any number of ways to solve a problem. Dealing with such vast amounts of Data within a model is not unlike determining how to scale for a website which needs to handle large fluctuations in web traffic. The nuances of technology within the realm of human experience is an artform. Though in the future, most engineering challenges will be automated and open-source will be a go-to framework. As tools improve and ETL processes improve, ML Engineers and Data Scientists will get the opportunity to focus more on models and less on systems. But beyond the artform of experimentation and intuition is the growing trend for soft skills in tandem with technical skills. Those who can lead a technical team, who can communicate to non-technical professionals, and still have the Emotional Intelligence to navigate the human psyche. It’s these individuals who will be ready for the next step in leading businesses into the next generation of customer service.  Ready to take the next step in your career? Take a look at 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 sanfraninfo@harnham.com.  For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.  

Reflections On The Watermark Conference For Women

This week I was fortunate enough to head down to the Watermark Conference for Women alongside our SVP, Stephanie Brooks. As we enter 2020 and women continue to shatter glass ceilings, Harnham firmly believe in a proactive approach towards placing more women in Data & Tech roles.  Diversity and inclusion are integral to our story and core beliefs and we strive to continually re-evaluate how we create measurable change in the marketplace and redefine the metrics of successful and excellent recruitment. For us, attending the conference was a chance to meet and learn from some of those women who are leading the way. Every talk inspired me in some way but there were a couple I really connected with, and I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on how they impact the work we do at Harnham. WHAT IS WATER? One talk that struck a chord with me was Seth Godin’s breakfast keynote, inspired by a commencement speech by David Foster Wallace in which he famously tells a story of two fish out at sea. The story goes: “There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says ‘Morning, boys. How’s the water?’ And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes ‘What the hell is water?’”. Godin’s speech was meditated on how attitudes and beliefs are the indicators of future success. In his speech, Godin echoed Wallace’s sentiment that “freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in a myriad of ways every day.” Recruitment is an industry where it is easy to swim along without questioning what water or recruitment really is. To question what is water - what is recruitment - requires thoughtful analysis, careful consideration, and of course, “attention, awareness, and discipline”. As the global leaders of Data & Analytics recruitment, we remind ourselves daily that we are responsible for making meaningful change. Water is, to us, what we make of it.  For Seth, his water is marketing. For Harnham, our water is recruitment and we stand by Wallace’s challenge to stay conscious and alive in our jobs. Day in and day out Harnham will continue to make the case for agency recruitment to be diverse and inclusive, as this is in the best economic interest of our clients.   THE ECONOMY OF DIVERSITY One of the most insightful and compelling moments of the day was a conversation between Pat Mitcheel and Indra Nooyi, the former chair and CEO of PepsiCo. Having directed the company’s global strategy for more than a decade, Nooyi is uniquely poised to discuss the importance and power of having women in every capacity within an organization.  During the conversation, she highlighted the statistics that measure the success companies achieve when women have equal representation at all levels. Currently, gender parity exists in entry-level positions but is absent in the 2nd and 3rd tiers of the workforce. While Nooyi highlighted that having a diverse and inclusive workplace should be an integral part of every company’s corporate social responsibility, she argued that this also leads to unprecedented economic growth. This aligns closely with our view of Diversity at Harnham, something which we examined in more detail in our Diversity Report.  For Nooyi, in making the case for the economics of diversity, she used the work of care economists to show how implementing policies that affected the unique interests of women are proven to not only keep women in the workforce and draw them back to work after children but are also shown to increase the economic output of countries. Institutional change at the corporate level and policies focused on those who have care-giving responsibilities have been shown to positively influence economic growth and increase the happiness and productivity of workers.  BREAKING OUT  As a woman working in a fast-paced and competitive environment, I also took a number of insights from the various break-out sessions held throughout the day. Here are a few highlights:  Women Breaking Barriers: Michelle P. King, Andrea McBride John, Pat Mitchell, Samantha Rapoport Find a mentor, be a mentor. Find a sponsor, be a sponsor. Find a sister, be a sister.Take up space and own it Share your successes with the women and men around you Building a Network of Relationships, Not Just Contacts: Laura Okmin Focus on asking people who they are, not what they do Reach out when you don’t need anything, maintain relationships  The Myth of the Nice Girl Nice people build  trust, trust is the foundation of all business relationships You don’t have to choose between kindness and strength If you want to break glass ceilings, we may have an opportunity for you. Take a look at our latest roles or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out 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 Team, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com. 

Surprising Job Search Trends in the Data Industry

One of the things I like to most is to meet our candidates face-to-face. Because most them are local, it’s simple. We call them in and the traditional interview process begins. But, sometimes, the best person for the job or the clients themselves aren’t local.  Enter Zoom or Skype or any such communication method where you can see the person you’re talking to. While it’s a step in the right direction, it’s not the complete step. Why? Because you can’t pick up on those subtle clues you might miss, if the meeting isn’t in person.  Going The Extra Mile for the Right Placement One of my colleagues recently shared a story with me. She’d been working with a candidate via Zoom for a placement in another State. Though the candidate and the client were both in the area, she wasn’t. The communication with the prospective candidate felt right, but she just wasn’t sure. To ensure she was making the right placement, she traveled to meet them. She wanted to meet the candidate to get a better understanding of him before she was able to successfully place him.  Fortunately, it wasn't on the other side of the country, but, it was definitely something that needed to happen. In today’s hyper-digitized world, it's important to remember that the ability to meet in person is an advantage. From the Client’s Side From an office perspective on the client’s side, an in-person meeting offers further advantages. The client can see how the candidate will interact in the actual environment of their business. A birds’ eye view of how the candidate handles themselves in the cultural atmosphere of the business, if you will.  In sharpening their focus, the client can also see how a candidate’s appearance, point of view, and communication side affect their performance at the interview and beyond. We make these snap judgements without realizing it, but they’re important. And you can’t really get a good idea of the person over the phone or via email as it can occasionally be difficult to read a candidate’s intentions.  At Harnham, we have tried to spearhead the interaction point of view for our own relationships. One of the most unique aspects of our business our dedication to the people we place and our clients we serve. So, navigating data-driven trends with our face-to-face culture finds a distinctive focus as we enter the Age of Data 2.0. A Shift Toward Pipeline Experience  With U.S. office locations in both New York and San Francisco, we have a variety of clients from startups to Fortune 500. So, to say one thing is definite in one place or another is a stretch. But, there is a trend, here in New York for professionals with pipeline experience or Machine Learning model development. On the flip side, a growing trend in the San Francisco market has most of their clientele looking for a Machine Learning Engineer profile within the pipeline development lifecycle. So, while we’re (New York) a little bit behind, it’s a trend I’m seeing on both sides of the spectrum within the last six months or so. Though it’s not exactly the unicorn employee, clients seek, there is shift toward higher level oversight. Someone who will be responsible for the entire pipeline.  Demand remains high for a field still facing a data shortage. Though the U.S. still lags behind the U.K. and Europe, it’s catching up. As businesses focus on their data strategies in the new year, below are a few things to consider before you hire or accept.  Top 3 Questions to Ask Before You Hire From the client’s side determine and the role you want to fill. Ask yourselves the following: What’s the objective of the role you’d like to fill? What is the goal?What contribution do you want from the person in that role?What is your timeline to have that person on board? What happens if you can’t fill the role within your timeline? Top 3 Questions for Mid-to-Senior Level Candidates Did you list the business impact of your list of accomplishments? Can you communicate as easily with your Data team as you do with the Executives? Clients are looking for a mix of technical understanding and the ability to communicate to technical and non-technical audiences. Are your projects keeping you engaged creatively? When was the last time you were given a new initiative, new project, or new client to partner with? If not, then it may be time to search or perhaps consider a contractor role for a fresh perspective. If you’re interested in AI, Big Data or Digital and Web Analytics, we may have a role for you. Check out our current opportunities or contact one of our expert consultants to learn more.  For our Mid-West and East Coast Team, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.  For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com. 

The Flu, Snake Bites, And The Covid-19 Virus: Jacob Glanville From Netflix’s ‘Pandemic'

Jacob Glanville features in the new Netflix series ‘Pandemic’, discussing the pioneering progress that he and his team at Distributed Bio have been making in the world of bioengineered medicine. This week we sat down with Jacob Glanville, CEO of Distributed Bio, field leaders in advanced computational immunoengineering of biomedicines. Featuring in the new Netflix series ‘Pandemic’, a look into the teams that are fighting to prevent a global outbreak of disease, Glanville is a highly renowned expert with an incredible track record.  With a PhD from Stanford, and having spent four years as a Principal Scientist at Pfizer, he left to found Distributed Bio. With Sarah Ives, Director of Influenza Centivax at Distributed Bio, the team is developing a new class of universal, utilizing pioneering computational technologies. “We use high throughput computational docking to try to help characterize how many unique epitopes might exist on the surface of a viral coat protein or a pathogen protein. Then, we also use computational methods to identify distinct elements of those diverse members of viral cost proteins from lots of different evolved versions of the same pathogen. And that's the centerpiece of how our vaccine technology works. We co-administer a bunch of really different variants all at a low dose so that only the shared sites are essentially at a high enough dose to be responded to.” This technique allows for Distributed Bio to create vaccines for almost any virus, at a fast pace, and in a safe environment. For example, with the recent outbreak of the SARS-derivative Coronavirus, Glanville is working in collaboration with US military and World Health Organization’s program allows the creation of ‘pseudo-virion’ versions of the disease that can be examined without posing a significant risk: “They take chicken pox, and flow over the outside of the chicken pox, the cost protein of a more serious virus, like the Coronavirus. So it behaves like a Coronavirus and it looks like one on the outside. Like the crunchy M&M shell is, is Coronavirus, but it's got the soft gooey M&M chocolate of, of chickenpox. It's not that dangerous. We are setting up a relationship with [the military] where we could use our antibody discovery library in conjunction with their pseudo-virion particles. We could rapidly discover antibodies against, SARS for instance, without the risk of bringing SARS into our lab.” Their work, however, is not just limited to fighting viral diseases. One of Distributed Bio’s leading projects focuses on creating a universal antivenom to snake bites. With between 80,000 and 130,000 people killed each year by snake bites, the majority of whom live in third-world countries, the need for an easy access and affordable antivenom is high.  “There's around 550 snakes in the world and each one has 20 to 70 proteins. It seems like a huge number of proteins you'd have to target to hit all snakes. But, for me analyzing them, they all collapse down to like 10 different clusters and homologous groups that all snakes share.” Having discovered that a universal approach was both possible and realistic, how did they develop the antibodies needed? “Our team [led by Tim Friede, Director of Herpetology at Distributed Bio, Sawsan Youssef, Chief Science Officer, and Raymond Newland, Principal Scientist.] found a man who spent 17 years injecting himself with snake venom from all over the world, because he loves snakes, and we took his blood. We’ve been using lab methods plus computational methods to help identify a series of antibodies that can hit like a bunch of shared determinants.” But, with a team that comprises of roles varying from Data Engineers and Data Scientists to Bioinformatics specialists, the ability to work together is essential. How does Glanville look to create a collaborative environment?  “I actually try to cross-train people as much as possible. My feeling is, that the extent to which you can actually cross-train people, the less likely you are to encounter a series of like assumption errors. I think what happens is often down to miscommunication between people who are making errors in the cracks where they have both misunderstood what the other person needed and what the previous person was giving them. If people are able to take their colleagues’ expertise into question when they’re working, you've reduced some of that risk.” Having grown up in Guatemala, Glanville is all too aware of the need for easily-available and effective vaccines, particularly as the Western world grows more wary of injections, largely due to the amount of misinformation that is currently circulating. But he understands that these concerns are often down to trust: “It's hard to communicate an epidemiological recommendation to a global population and not make it one sentence. And so, the loudest sentence becomes ‘get no shots’. I'm hoping that a more effective shot makes the story go away. The problem currently with a flu shot is that it still only works half the time. And so people complain about it. I’m hoping that better vaccines and more reasonable communication will cause calmer minds to prevail.” As for any immediate concerns about the impact of the Coronavirus, he once again turns to the issues of accessibility:  “Right now I worry more about Ebola. It's a larger outbreak problem and it's in an area that is poorly served. I think China is pretty good at locking down medical problems.” If you’re looking to build out your team with the industry’s best, get in touch with some 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. If you’re on the hunt for your next opportunity and want to join an innovative, world-leading company, we may have a role for you. You can find our latest jobs here. Pandemic is streaming on Netflix now. You can watch the trailer below. 

Dave Farmer Appointed New Harnham CEO

I am pleased to announce that Harnham have named David Farmer as our new CEO.  David has been with Harnham since its inception in 2006 and has most recently being serving as COO. With the new appointment, I will be moving into the position of Executive Chairman.  On the move, David says: “I am thrilled to move into this new position at such an exciting time for the company. Having been with the business since the start, I am well aware of Harnham’s potential, particularly as the Data & Analytics market continues to thrive. We have an extraordinary team of home-grown talent at Harnham and I am eager to see where we can take the business next.”   David understands Harnham better than anyone and has dedicated an incredible amount of time and effort towards the success of the business. I cannot think of anyone better to lead us through the next stage of our growth.  This comes at an exciting time for Harnham with Partners Mark Bremer and Sam Jones stepping up to lead the London and New York offices, respectively. Additionally, long-term team members Ross Henderson and Talitha Boitel-Gill have been named Associate Directors and will oversee the growth of various teams within the UK business.  The global leader in Data & Analytics recruitment, Harnham now comprises of 160 people across four offices globally. 

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