Gear your team for greatness in Data Science: Skilling & re-skilling your workforce

Gear your team for greatness

As an analytics training company, one of the biggest challenges that we see companies face is this race to keep up with the ever-expanding list of essential skills. The demand for adding new ones to the workforce quiver has also been equally crucial. With every talent hire, taking on the competition has never been more important. We believe that there is an efficient way to build and gear a team to blitzkrieg their way to the top of the food chain; and that’s by empowering employees with analytics and data skills. Today, the ability to collect and analyse data to derive insights about your business or your domain is the differentiating factor that separates companies like Google or Facebook or Amazon from their competitors.


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Teaching new skills and updating current skill sets in large teams might seem to be a Herculean task. Identifying the correct type of training required, logistics and mode of delivery especially when employees are spread across different locations, sometime even different countries – these are the big challenges identified by most L&D managers. They often correctly pinpoint that training their existing teams would be an ideal method to enhance productivity and keep the team motivated. Employees feel more secure and are more committed towards building a long-term relationship with his / her company. In a study of more than 3,100 U.S. workplaces, it was found that on average, a 10% increase in education levels in the workforce through relevant training or development programs led to an immediate 8.6% gain in total productivity.


An analytic bent of mind, being able to recognize patterns and make sense of it, is what makes stellar data scientists. Individuals across any professional and educational background can learn and apply analytics, without a background in mathematics or statistics. Today, data scientists should have strong quant skills with knowledge of at least one of the big analytical languages like R or SAS, some technical know-how or Big Data training and above-average communication skills to understand insights and implement changes.


So where are these data gurus? Currently 80% of the data and analytics jobs created 5 years ago, are still not occupied, according to a study by the Wall Street Journal. So you’re not the only one looking for analytical talent – you’re possibly going to have to get in line.

But we suggest – instead of a fresh hiring, train within your employee pool.

You know the skills required, and your employees already have the necessary domain knowledge. What they need is training and skill development that allows them to apply complex analytics to existing problems. If your employee has the necessary background, then it makes sense to encourage them to upgrade their skills.


The number of analytics jobs and roles are increasing at a far faster pace than before.

Companies leverage the power of analytics to gain formidable revenue and increase business prospects. The $146 billion IT industry has been tackling business problems efficiently, with changing technology. Quantitative analysts who can number crunch and visualize data for better decision making are the need of the hour.

It is estimated that in the next few years, India will experience a dearth of data scientists. This especially in view of the fact that the data analytics services market is poised to grow to a mammoth $2.3 billion by 2017-2018. The analytics product market in fact, stands at over $100 billion and is seeing a growth of 30% year on year. The Indian analytics services market stands at 35%-50% of the global market!

At Jigsaw, we have trained employees in companies spanning traditional sectors like finance, banking, retail, media & communication and professional services to new age sectors like eCommerce and IoT. This training is all the more relevant since it is given in the context of the domain and solving problems that are relevant to those businesses.


In a world that is increasingly driven by data, even businesses that already have data training programs in place could struggle to keep up. This is because the analytics and Big Data is a dynamic field – with new tools, techniques and innovations being brought into focus every day. This is where the concept of ‘reskilling’ comes into place – where companies have to constantly update skilling programs for their employees to remain relevant and cutting-edge. We often see that those companies who are at the top of their game when it comes to innovation, highly prioritize learning and development goals for their employees. A technological advantage cannot be viewed in a silo, but must be regarded in context of the business it supports and how it helps the business not just make the ascent to the top, but also retain its position.

This article first appeared as part of Analytics India Companies Study 2016

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Sarita Digumarti
Sarita has over 10 years of extensive analytics and consulting experience across diverse domains including retail, health-care and financial services. She has worked in both India and the US, helping clients tackle complex business problems by applying analytical techniques. She has a Master’s degree in Quantitative Economics, from Tufts University, Boston, and a PG Diploma in Management from T.A. Pai Management Institute, Manipal.

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