The big data and analytics industry is grappling with a low supply of qualified talent
In this volatile economic condition, where most companies are curbing hiring costs, big data and analytics is one emerging area that is talent-starved. Unlike other professions with abundant talent, the demand for right talent is intensifying in this industry. Data analysts are candidates with a unique combination of computational and analytical skills that are difficult to find.
The human resource personnel of these companies and departments grapple with the challenge of finding an amalgamation of a mathematician, statistician, an economist, social scientist and even a psychologist in one ‘right’ candidate. The HR in collaboration with other divisions should be able to bifurcate the multiple job roles in analytics, based on different competency levels, instead of trying to retrofit one candidate in multiple roles. For example, a candidate with an engineering or a technology background could fit the role of a big data engineer; likewise, a candidate with an MS in computer sciences, postgraduate degree in statistics, or econometrics, combined with an MBA degree, best suits an analytics consulting role. A well-defined job role in analytics will enable companies to identify specialists for each role and fast-track the recruitment process. HR could also target raw talent from top business schools or engineering colleges with a passion for problem-solving, who can be groomed to develop sophisticated analytics solutions.
Besides recruitment, another arduous task for the HR department is to develop and engage employees in this competitive landscape where companies are vying for the best talent. This can be attained by making the job more appealing with new challenges, offering structured training programmes and providing employees with an inclusive work environment.
With the average age of an analyst being 35 years or less, these young professionals with the adrenaline rush of constantly challenging their potential, will remain with a company that throws difficult and compelling opportunities their way and allows them to operate independently. Analytics is all pervasive; apart from enabling us to solve business problems, it is also prevalent in other areas such as predicting cricket, weather, or politics, crime prevention, disease management, and even in our personal lives with applications such as Google Now. The opportunities in the field of analytics are unimaginable. It is the responsibility of companies to identify the candidate’s area(s) of interest and core competence and allow ample exposure across various industries.
– The author is senior vice president and head, human resource, Fractal Analytics