Data is the new currency and the data whisperer is the new king. The question is no longer if you should upskill with analytics and data science, but what kind of analytics skills you should add to your repertoire.
There is great demand for people who are adept at handling data and can analyze that data for effective decision making. But what does it take to make it to the top in this field? What are the skills needed? Weighing in on this, Snehamoy Mukherjee, Senior Director for large Data Science, Big Data, Machine Learning and Analytics engagements at Axtria, says “We need people with the desire to learn and work hard, which I believe is the most important skill. Everything else, is trainable. On the hard skills front, ability to understand business, apply analytics frameworks to the business problems, think through multiple insights that can be provided to the client, what problems we can solve for them using the data and which algorithms and statistics to apply to which business problem are the skills that students should develop.”
The Analytics Market Today
Be it building a recommendation engine to a chat bot to a market mix model, it’s all about data – and this needs data savvy professionals who can extract insights out of seemingly random data. “The Analytics market in India continues to grow steadily and organically, and that is sound growth. We don’t have a bubble in this industry, where thousands of wannabe analytics shops opened overnight, with crazy funding from private equity or venture capital firms. There is demand for folks with sound analytics skills. There is of course a huge demand in the US market, which gets fulfilled offshore.” says Snehamoy.
There is a wide demand and supply gap between what the industry wants and what the candidates are offering. It is not enough to just know to work with data, but it is essential to also unearth what that data is saying and present it in an understandable manner based on which the management of an organization can take strategic decisions that will drive the company.
Expressing his opinion on the current analytics talent pool, Snehamoy adds, “The quality of Analytics professionals in the talent pool is deteriorating by the day. The reason for this is that with the increase in the volume of analytics workforce, the quality of training that organizations were able to provide in-house earlier as compared to now, which has also deteriorated.”
With the hype and buzz around analytics, a lot of available training in the analytics space has not been focusing on the actual industry needs – and instead been focusing on tool based training, which is not an effective learning methodology. Analytics is all about understanding the underlying concepts and processes, and not just learning to work with one or two tools.
Snehamoy is of the same view. “Instead of structured trainings, organizations are now relying on self-help modules to train the staff, which leaves people to their own means and motivations to learn. This is not ideal. Analytics needs to be taught in a very rigorous manner by people with experience in the field and there are no text books to learn analytics unlike programming or finance,” he says.
What Needs to Change
What we need is people to learn analytics and data science as applied in the industry, with focus on practical learning. In finding programs geared towards this, Jigsaw Academy’s offerings are in line with what the industry and organizations are seeking. Their Postgraduate Program in Data Science and Machine Learning (PGPDM), a specialized learning program developed in collaboration with University of Chicago Graham School, with added advanced modules in Cognitive Computing from IBM, is a great way to step into the world of data.
The 10-month extensive program is designed for technology professionals and helps them become elite analytics professionals. The PGPDM curriculum covers data modelling and data analytics techniques, through a combination of lectures, a capstone project and assignments. The extremely hands-on nature of the program makes it a unique proposition for any tech professional to upskill and upgrade.
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Bhasker is a Data Science evangelist and practitioner with proven record of thought leadership and incubating analytics practices for various organizations. With over 16 years of experience in the area of Business Analytics, he is well recognized as an expert within the industry. Earlier, Bhasker worked as Vice President at Goldman Sachs. He is B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi and MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow.