Data Science Inc – The Rise of In-House Data Science Teams

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A decade ago, Big Data and Analytics were buzzwords but only a few organizations recruited Big Data analysts and Data Scientists. Now that it’s a proven fact that data can drive business value, data science skills are in high demand in almost every industry like software & IT/ITeS, consulting, government, and healthcare.

However, the data science talent market is complicated by its youth. Unlike other professional courses and certifications, this discipline doesn’t have a single widely recognized certification. This is the prime reason that enterprises, rather than hiring talent from outside, are now launching programs to develop internal data science talent to fill their data analytics needs. AT&T, Booz Allen Hamilton, Ibotta and Qlik are just a few of the companies that are establishing training programs to upgrade current employees with the latest tools and techniques of data science. Let’s see how these tech giants are developing data science talent.

Identify Where Data Science will Add the Most Value to the Organization

Data scientists are mostly solo practitioners and are generally not part of teams. This has meant that most data scientists lack the skillset to perform effectively in large teams. A lot of enterprises thus often struggle when getting data analytics/data scientist teams to perform at peak levels.

This is why enterprises perform thorough analysis of investing into data science teams with data science talent and development programs. This helps to identify which wing of the industry will benefit the most from data science. Data science along with analytics and employees with domain expertise can add a lot of business value. In most organizations, marketing and technology platforms with high activity levels have gained with data science implementation.

Other than these areas, data science and analytics also adds value by improving productivity. For instance, to improve the efficiency of high-value production equipment, GE (General Electric) has worked with steel companies, where data is obtained from sensors attached to high-value production equipment to make better predictions on the best time to apply preventive maintenance to help avoid unplanned downtime.

Focus on Data Literacy

Tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Uber, and Tesla already have a strong data science presence in-house and have aligned their employees, tools, and processes around data to empower everyone at the company. Data literacy is the ability to derive meaningful information from data, just as literacy, in general, is the ability to derive information from the written word.

Companies like Qlik have made data literacy as a cultural affair across-the-organization. They have data literacy training and development program for beginner, intermediate and advanced level. This is a very effective way to know what data is appropriate to use, to interpret data visualizations, to understand data analytics tools and methods and when and where to use them.

Python and R are the most popular data science tools but enterprises are doing their best to build a foundation first for their employees and are training them in statistics and analysis with both – Excel and Access. This equips the employees with a variety of tools and techniques like Python and machine learning and thus much larger amounts of data can be fetched and analyzed easily.

No capacity for an Internal Program? Partner Up

Developing a suitable internal data science training program is not an easy task to do. There are a lot of parameters to be considered. In such cases, partnering up with an external organization is a befitting alternative. Enterprises partners up to develop in-house talent by either building an in-house training program or by getting employees trained by them.

Recently AT&T had enrolled with Georgia Tech Online Master of Science in Computer Science program where 50 of their employees graduated. They have also partnered with Udacity on Nanodegrees where 2,000 AT&T employees have gained technical credentials in data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

Springpeople is also one such partner who is committed to transforming the way Enterprise training is procured, organized, delivered, and training results measured – setting the benchmarks in the IT & be the leader – enabling organizations & communities to swiftly enrich their knowledge capital/skills.

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About Payel Bhowmick

The author is an analyst at SpringPeople & writes on emerging technology trends for IT professionals. Passionate about technology, her current area of focus is the digital revolution currently underway in the edu-tech industry. When not at work, Payel splits her time between writing, reading and watching sci-fi movies.

Posts by Payel Bhowmick