Data science is undoubtedly one of the most defining technologies of the decade. Having already redefined the way organisations think and act, data science holds the key to the next frontier in business. The number of data scientists is only growing in the world right now, and therefore, if there was ever a great time to be a data scientist – that time is now!
The promise of lucrative careers in this domain has only raised the stakes for data scientists, pushing the case for an environment that methodically exposes them to highly demanding situations while supporting their development with a wide array of opportunities and systems for learning.
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If you’re on the lookout for an organisation that values its people, look no further than eClerx, which ranked 3rd in “Learning & Support” in AIM’s 50 Best Firms in India for Data Scientists to Work For report.
In our previous article, we introduced the Data Science and Analytics (DSA) programme at eClerx and spoke about how the business unit is at the forefront of solving mission-critical problems for Fortune 500 companies. This article, part 2 of the five-part series, will shed light on the organisation’s investment and commitment towards the driving force behind this maturity and impact, i.e. its people.
A data science and analytics ecosystem as a blueprint for organizational success
A 1000+ employee-strong business unit — DSA embraces a highly diverse talent group with capabilities across platforms, tools and technologies. The team is a melting pot of generalists, specialists, and program leaders with varying experience levels, working individually and collaboratively to build and run custom solutions for the world’s leading companies.
However, this poses a two-pronged challenge, i.e. balancing the act between individual aspirations and organizational goals. Since individual career goals and learning modes are bound to be nonconformist, people tend to learn at their own pace and gravitate towards varying topics of interest. At the other end of the spectrum, the organization’s capabilities and interests are geared toward innovation, and expansion, in addition to continue providing pertinent solutions to a cross-section of clients across industries.
To understand how eClerx builds alignment between individuals and the organization, Analytics India Magazine recently spoke with Ruble Joseph, Lead Strategist (VP), Global Data Science and Analytics Practice at eClerx – who is amongst the 50 Most Influential AI Leaders in India -2021.
He spoke of how eClerx’s Data Science and Analytics Ecosystem aids this alignment and how the organization has an open work culture owing to an almost flat hierarchy. In addition, the outcome-based performance evaluation framework offers clarity between team members and managers.
Fig 2: An ecosystem built around four pillars
Access to a treasure trove of learning systems and resources
True to its values – monikered as EPIC, i.e. Excellence, People, Integrity and Clients — eClerx continues to place people at the centre of its universe.
eClerx offers access to a treasure trove of resources and platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Litmos and Udemy. In addition, employees can tap into content libraries that have 5000+ courses on leadership, management, data science and analytics etc., to enable self-paced, on-demand learning for continuous upskilling.
A major feather in the cap for eClerx is its highly active Community of Practice (CoP) that provides an open-for-all podium to encourage cross-sectional teams to converge and exhibit thought leadership, share discoveries, learnings from real-world business problems, success stories, market and domain trends etc. There have been a staggering 58 CoP sessions and six hackathons conducted so far, and on course to add exciting sessions in the coming year.
eClerx has partnered with leading industry platforms like AWS, Snowflake, Qubit, and Adobe to offer customised training programs in niche areas. A few examples include collaborations with global academia for certifications such as the University of Miami for Data Visualization and Storytelling, the University of Toronto for Robotic Process Automation (1500+ completed the course this year), and Great Lakes for Data Science and SP Jain for MBA.
Fig 3: Partnership & Sponsorship Programs
Right off the heels of crafting several impactful learning programs and partnerships, eClerx just launched an extensive partnership with BITS Pilani, offering postgraduate degrees to employees across Data Science, Engineering, Business Analytics, FinTech, and Consultancy Management, to name a few.
For management tracks, eClerx offers expertly curated LEAPs that offer a selection of application-oriented concepts from situational leadership, cognitive sciences and communication practice. It also provides a definitive toolkit of frameworks, concepts and approaches to acquire new behaviours and mindsets for managing people and teams. In addition, there are plenty of mentorship programs, collateral stores, best practices designed by quality teams, and infrastructure and tech GPUs and licenses for data science.
Rallying the team with a well-rounded organizational culture
It’s not all work at eClerx; the company appreciates all the effort employees put in. To encourage its employees, eClerx regularly hands out rewards and incentives in the form of awards, customized and flexible compensation structures and critical competency allowances. In addition, DSA follows an open-door policy to connect with its managers for regular feedback and suggestions.
Fig 4: eClerx’s organizational culture celebrates learning, autonomy and recognition.
One of the best examples of eClerx’s commitment to offering the best work environment for the employees was seen when the pandemic hit. The company offered flexible work from home options and other virtual solutions to keep the operations smooth while ensuring employees’ safety and wellbeing. To this end, eClerx transitioned and adopted new technologies for collaboration and knowledge management to help its employees work as seamlessly as they would in a physical office environment. Result – the solution-driven approach worked wonders, and the data science operations could continue glitch-free.
Emerging unscathed from the great attrition movement
High attrition rates have largely defined the pandemic period. As per a Mckinsey report, most companies are experiencing what is being referred to as the ‘Great Attrition’ or ‘Great Resignation’. A survey by Mckinsey revealed that 40 per cent of employees said they are likely to quit in the next three to six months; eighteen per cent said that their intentions were from likely to almost certain.
People are now seeking more fulfilling experiences, autonomy, and flexibility. While monetary compensations and bonuses are desirable, employees refuse to be bogged down by the current mechanical nature of their professional routine.
eClerx has been a step ahead in dealing with these concerns – think flexible work schedule and healthy work-life balance – not just during the pandemic but even before that. As a result, employees are motivated to break out of their shells and explore more professionally. Here the upskilling and recognition programs have offered the much-needed respite.
Becoming a future-ready organisation
With such innovative measures and practices in place, eClerx has been recognised as one of the best places to work for data scientists, ranking as high as third position in the learning and support category. In addition, data scientists working at eClerx are a regular part of the coveted 40 Under 40 data scientists award given out annually by AIM. One thing is certain – at eClerx, you will never be the smartest person in the room – which is a great thing for a professional journey.
Next up in this five-part series, we will be bringing you an episode of a video podcast with a senior analytics leader from eClerx. Stay tuned to hear about how eClerx is building upon the strongest year in its twenty-year history to enter a hyper-growth phase as it expands its data science and analytics business across large Fortune 500 accounts, including new verticals and geographies.