As questions loom about the potential global economic recession due to the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, organizations are becoming increasingly cautious about how to navigate their business operations in the downturn. Every department, including analytics, are expected to manoeuvre during challenging times by revamping their strategies swiftly. And since the data science department has become essential for data-driven companies, the head of analytics needs to make effective decisions for the company during this unprecedented situation.
While some companies have adopted lay-off strategies to reduce the impact on their businesses, several organizations are hiring data scientists during this time. Different companies have different approaches, but here are some of the vital initiatives that head of analytics can adopt to make the most of the current circumstances.
Never Let A Recession Go To Waste
Rather than slowing down the data science initiative within organizations, analytics head should identify opportunities that are being created in the market due to the downturn. “Startups are facing heat due to the absence of liquidity in the market. This specifically opens the door for big companies to tap in the market that tech startups had earlier captured,” says Biswajit Biswas, chief data scientist of Tata Elxsi.
As recession does not seem to be coming to an end any time soon, many startups with weaker business models will fail to survive. This will allow proactive companies determine and advance their analytical skills in the domain that may see a surge post this uncertainty. Analytics team should focus on how they can build solutions that would cater to the future demand in the market.
Since the number of projects that analytics teams usually get may decrease due to recession, the analytics team will have enough time to expand their capabilities. “Companies usually procrastinate on trying new initiatives and are mostly caught up with their client or proprietary projects. However, with enough time at hand, firms should take up new projects that can bring value to the company after the current situation eases up,” says Sanjiv Kumar Jha, chief data scientist of Quintela.
However, Sanjiv also stressed that companies would not invest in analytics during such a time of uncertainty. Instead, analytics teams should figure out ways in which they can optimize their current resources and bring something valuable to the table.
Diversify & Innovate
Rather than thinking about lay-offs, analytics head of companies should plan to strengthen their teams by providing training to current data science teams in different technologies within the analytics domain. Companies often build their analytics team around the type of products and services they offer. For instance, if a firm delivers computer vision solutions, it hires people who are proficient with that particular technology.
However, they can utilize the time and now train their teams on other technologies within the data science domain to diversify the skills, thereby empowering the team to innovate for the company. This will enable companies to be future-ready whenever they take new projects that are out of their comfort zones. “Analytics head should let their team members showcase their skills by allowing them to take new initiatives during this downturn,” says Santosh Rai, artificial intelligence architect and head data scientist at ProVise Consulting.
Frugal With Cloud
Until the world weathers the storm of COVID-19, the analytics department will have to be economical with their spendings. Most importantly, the cloud costs for organizations have ascended since employees are working from home. It is crucial for an analytics head to ensure the company does not unnecessarily use the cloud resources. Not every employee will be familiar with the optimization technique for reducing cloud costs. Therefore, along with the data science team, the head of analytics will have to implement best cloud practices within the whole organization while using cloud computing.
Today, the cloud has become an elixir for all data-driven initiatives as companies can remotely get all the resources they need for processing a colossal amount of data. However, companies that did not have the policy of remote work are the ones struggling to keep up with their usual productivity during the lockdown. “Analytics leaders should learn from this and build a culture that would, in the future, enable them to work effectively without any roadblocks,” believes Bastin Robin, chief data scientist of CleverInsight.
Besides, he also said companies should use their analytics skills to contribute to the world during such a downturn by providing insights on how one can navigate during COVID-19, rather than only focusing on trends and predicting the number of people who will get infected by the virus.