Addressing the Analytics Skills Gap #BDA13

June 6, 2013

in Analytics, Data Mining

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Mychelle Mollot kicked off day 2 of the Analyst Insights event discussing the analytic skills gap. Only 1 in 10 organizations, she says, feel they have the tech skills they need while 3 in 4 students feel they lack the skills they need. Meanwhile 72% of academic institutions believe they generate employable graduates but only 42% of employers agree. When it comes to social, mobile, cloud and analytics there is broad agreement however between schools and employers – that students are not graduating with these skills.

With respect to analytics, IBM is partnering with various academic institutions, across the world, to create programs for teaching analytics. These are increasingly focused on business skills, not just technical skills. IBM provides software and resources, case studies and curriculum advice as well as helping arrange speakers and research grants.

For employers it’s also hard to hire analytics teams. There is not a clear definition of the kind of profile you need for a top analytic performer. IBM is conducting research with various organizations to interview leaders and analytic experts to develop this kind of profile. What’s bubbling out of this is that top performers:

  1. Have good communication skills
  2. Have good math skills (not typically associated with #1)
  3. Good individual problem-solver
  4. Collaborative (again, a bit of a contradiction with #3)
  5. Intellectually curious
  6. Competitive

IBM’s vision for this is to connect students with the right aptitude to companies and organizations that need them as part of the IBM Smarter Workforce initiative.

I have an additional thought related to building analytic skills in an organization. In An indirect approach to the shortage in advanced analytic skills I discuss the power of teaching business analysts and others decision requirements modeling to allow non-data people to actively participate in analytic projects.

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