NSNarasimhalu Senthil: Analytics hiring is high paced and an ever changing game. A plethora of players in the market ensure qualified candidates get absorbed quickly. Left to me, I’d mark they are spoilt for choices today. From captives to services to startups, there are different opportunities within their existing ecospace that one can look at engaging in an analyst role to a delivery role to the business role.
There is an upsurge on strong attraction towards Startups/e-Commerce/Product analytics organizations vs. traditional captive centers, along with a crucial metamorphosis in compensation range. I think this year will be a trend setter of sorts.
AIM: Which areas in analytics you think have the most potential going forward?
NS: To start with: Future is analytics, though it’s a kind of oxymoron. Risk & Marketing analytic areas have constantly been an area of promise; while, new areas such as Customer Analytics/Web & Digital Analytics/Transactional Fraud Analytics/Telecom & Pharma Analytics/Big Data Analytics/Data Scientist/M2M Analytics (Internet of things) assures to indicate a major role going forward.
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Personally, I feel India is yet to apprehend the aura of Machine Learning/ Neural Networks. That’s one area that will change the depth and gravity of analytics usage in our daily life. A Mckinsey Global Institute’s study emphasizes Machine Learning as the driver of the next biggest wave of innovation.
Lastly, although the presence of M2M was touched sometime back, an upsurge in equitable wireless communication, along with changing technologies has made way rise inexorably in recent times. Flutura, Invati –Insights, Bidgely are some of the start-ups firms in India to be watched for, that are centering towards M2M analytics for their businesses in various industries.
AIM: What typically an analytics firm looking for while recruiting analytics professionals?
NS: This is an interesting question. While the answer could be easily passed as a mother hood statement, I will try to nail it to specifics as much as possible.
We have evolved from a skill/tool based body shopping country to a full stack solution provider. Naturally, the demand for people beyond simple tools is on the rise. Tools in BI might earn you a place in Analytics wave, but won’t keep you there for long. Today it’s a must to show strong abilities in MATH/STAT + Tech Tools + Business Acumen and I’m afraid none of the three is negotiable.
The requisite for good business acumen, understanding of the client complications and breaching it down to solutions by means of models/Customized solutions etc. has gained the preeminence; along with initial years of meddling with statistical/ mathematical data, including variety of statistical model building and a strong pedigree from Tier 1 schools with Quantitative discipline studies.
AIM: What are a few things that organizations should be doing with their analytics hiring that most don’t do today?
NS: Regardless to the various technologies which Analytics organizations are applying; it is obligatory for the very to endow on a dedicated analytics professional and a coherent strategy.Visibility of business challenges should be set to the potential talent instead of directing merely on the KRA’s and evaluate for the business creativity besides technical skills and number crunching.
Online communities would aid largely in sighting the factual pool of talent. Let’s consider Kaggle for illustration, which is an online platform that clouds data analytics competitions, permits companies to hit into the expertise of data scientists and elucidate organizations complications. As per a recent analysis conducted on Kaggle top 100 performers, over 80 percent of those 100 performers had a Master’s degree or higher and 35 percent have a Ph.D.
AIM: What are the most significant challenges you face being in the forefront of analytics space?
NS: Simply put, it’s an age old war of supply and demand. Like any other growth spurt in our country, we are caught unaware and unprepared. With opportunities aplenty and no dearth for business, everything is abundant but for qualified professionals. While skills can be trained, Analytics is a different beast. Creativity comes into play when Analytics teams consider pounding together data, in much the same way that composers might experiment with combination of instruments. Now, that is something that that cannot be trained. However, this nosedives in the Indian Analytics industry where in 80% of workforce is working on monotonous BI/Models, while only 20 % of work force doescore modeling work.
Proliferating cross training/self-training would keeporganizations or employee themselves in tune with the growing business need in the future.
AIM: What do you suggest to professionals aspiring to get into analytics space?
NS: My two cents and often prescribed suggestions to aspirants:
ü If you have math and stat as your mother tongue, it makes life lot easier.
ü If you are basically a toolster aspiring to be in core of analytics, at least get the grip on BI tools along with some specific data visualization tools like Tableau, etc.
ü If you’re not from either of the background, start with market research analytics, get your hands dirty with research reporting, analysis and dash boarding then a slow transition to data analytics and heading towards advanced analytics.
AIM: What do you suggest to analytics professional who are looking out for a job change within analytics field?
NS: Centering self in gaining knowledge in core competencies (e.g. Modeling, Solutioning, and Delivery) and cross training inapplication of analytics on different domains; along with sprouting business acumen is significant.
There is also a need to understand the consultative approach, readily take up challenges and primed to be tested, laterally with the dimensioning creativity and embracingonline learning. And as there are a huge number of start-up organizations looming, one should be competent and enthusiastic to mind up such novel ecosystems.
AIM: Anything else you wish to add?
NS: Analytics is a buzzword in the industry and every organization is trying to jump to the sea, with a careful approach.
India has a large puddle of statistics, mathematics and various quant discipline talent pool, but they need industry specific training. Advanced analytical concepts have to be included in the curriculum.
A strong demand for research professionals is in upswing by the dint of captive and research labs are approaching to India.