IT Departments Battle for Data Analytics Talent
Finding personnel to fill analytics positions is only going to get harder as more companies begin to use big data to gain a competitive edge.
Wed, December 12, 2012
Overcoming Shortage of Skilled IT Workers
There are no shortcuts here. Your company should be formulating its plans for finding the right mix of analytical skills combined with business knowledge and experience in its particular field. To attract the talent you need, Anil Kaul, CEO of AbsolutData, an analytics and research firm, offers these tips to get started.
Know What You Need: "To some it means data visualization and reporting, to others it means data mining and predictive analytics. Analytics professionals have spikes in different areas--some are technically stronger while others are stronger in interpreting numbers to craft the answer to the business questions, while others still are stronger in utilizing analytical technologies for answering the analytical questions," Kaul says.
"It is critical to know the area of strength for the talent that you are looking for," he says. "Hence it is critical to know the specific analytical skills you are hiring for"
Create Career Paths: "Organizations that can show a clear path that lead to high-profile positions within the organization are more likely to attract analytical talent, Kaul says."
As analytics continues growing so will the different opportunities within organizations. Revisit these paths to see where updates need to be made.
Illustrate The Business Impact: "In these days of analytical talent shortage, it is critical to show how the job links with the business impact that analytics can create," Kaul says. "Many analytical professionals have been put in the back room for too long and now want to get to the forefront of creating business impact."
Convey The Excitement: "Analytics is going through an exciting time, so it is critical to show that the organization, particularly the senior management, is excited about the impact analytics can create in the organization," Kaul says. "Excitement is contagious and a very good way to attract superior talent."
Related Story: How Big Data Brings BI, Predictive Analytics Together
What to Look for in Analytics Pro
As the market gets more competitive, companies that know the exact traits they are looking for will be in a much better position to hire the right people. Target Data's Bailey offers these items as things to look for when hiring people to fill analyst positions.
- Data--Experience with how data is organized, accessed, cleaned and integrated.
- Basic Statistics-- Crosstabs, significance testing and/or general linear modeling.
- Creative Problem Solving--Someone who is good at puzzles, visualization and strategy games.
- Social Sciences--Candidates should have a good blend of data, experimental design and theory
- Market Research--Approaches to sampling, testing, segmentation and reporting experience is a plus.
- Advanced Statistics--Nonparametric, neural networks and/or econometric modeling.