The answers to the innumerable business opportunities we face lie in our data, yet our thirst for business insight often goes unsatisfied.
The growing use of analytics in organizations is powered by analytics teams, which are often underfunded, misunderstood, and starved for talent. Extracting business value from data depends on nurturing the development and effectiveness of these groups.
Yet, despite the demand, just a quarter of analytics teams operate as “business drivers” today, proactively leveraging data to unearth business opportunity. Most are seen as internal “consultants” (41%) or “service providers” (31%), suggesting opportunity on the side of both analytics teams, and the leadership they serve.
The confluence of factors arising from burgeoning data availability, open source, more affordable technology, and consumer demand for betterment on every front suggests it might be prime time for analytics teams.
But for a host of reasons, analytics teams are still at the cusp of delivering the breakthrough value their discipline is capable of. The current demand for analytics outstrips supply — there is simply too little talent, and much of it turns over too quickly to fill the barrage of demand.
Additionally, management itself is not yet well versed in analytics, while analytics teams are not effective translators of data. Lastly, the promise of technology is not yet at pace with the reality of the data, plagued by continued issues of cleanliness, connectivity, and availability.
Management faces a shortage of analytics talent, an uphill battle to work with analytics teams in a way that extracts maximum value amidst mounting cost pressures, and the promise of what new data and technology delivers. All the while, the immediate need for more insights persists.
Analytics Talent — Where Demand Outpaces All Hope of Supply
It’s not uncommon for analytics demand to be up 30% to 50% year over year, and for analytics leaders to be in perpetual hiring mode as talent pool migrates from company to company, lured by the promise of better environments, higher pay, and cooler jobs.
Consider the fact that analyst hires can take up to one-third longer than average, with counteroffers the norm. From experience, I know it can take up to a year for them to learn company data, systems, and the business itself.
At 18 months — just as analysts become value-generating — they’re also highly marketable and vulnerable to poaching, while corporate pay scales and compensation policies struggle to keep pace.
Moreover, the growing need for translation layer roles (those embodying that rarefied business/analytics hybrid skill set) persists, and is in even higher demand. Compounding matters is the scarcity of women in technology amid pressure for diversity.
This perpetual analytics talent quest plagues companies competing for the coveted talent pool while they struggle to meet increasing demand for business analytics
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