In response to the critical shortage of data expertise in the existing job market, organizations will need to leverage and explore new techniques of acquiring, developing and retaining talent.
I had the privilege of attending Gartner's Tech Growth & Innovation conference in June, hosted by Hank Barnes (@Barnes_Hank.) There were many great take-aways. "Got Talent?" is the first in a 3-part series of posts exploring how to win the war on talent, avoid robophobia and turn your data into a revenue stream
Julie Short (@juliedshort), Digital Business Analyst with Gartner, shared that 85% of organizations plan to invest in Data Science and Analytics expertise through 2018. In response to the critical shortage of data expertise in the existing job market, organizations will need to leverage and explore new techniques of acquiring, developing and retaining talent.
Having lived through both the web development boom in the 90's and the push for Six Sigma Process Improvement in early 2000, I anticipate that this period will be similar in the level of disruption it causes in the job market. So, what did we learn from these two previous experiences?
First, in response to the sudden and overwhelming demand for web developers in the 90's, the initial reaction was to teach people to code in HTML - I equate this to the push right now to learn R and Python. However, once we matured in eCommerce web design, we realized that the critical success factor was not in the coding prowess, but in Human-Centered Design.
Julie predicts that the critical success factor for digital business transformation will again be Human-Centered Design. What will differentiate future winners is their understanding of Customer needs, their ability to apply design thinking to develop exceptional Customer experiences and their aptitude for successfully predicting Customer behavior. Although coding skills will be required in this effort, it will by no means be the only skill required and, in some cases, it will not be the most important.
Second, when the skills required are not yet available in the job marketplace, as during the early phases of the Six Sigma movement, organizations must cultivate these skills within their existing ranks.
Organizations who seek the shortest path to successful data insights should consider retooling their existing Six Sigma organizations. Companies have spent billions upskilling employees to lead process improvement projects. Research conducted by Ambient Intelligence, Inc. indicates that Six Sigma Black Belts and Master Black Belts have 70% of the skills required to lead data analytics projects.
In addition to their existing skills, what these practitioners require is a methodology specific to solving problems using data. Then with some basic training to get them started and a program of experiential learning, they can deliver iterative value while honing their craft.