Analytics and its different dimensions – data analytics, business analytics – has been on a growth path for long now. Business organizations face a host of challenges today, highly varied in nature from the complexities that used to daunt traditional business organizations. Fast-paced technology changes, global markets, informed and empowered customers, stiff competition are common to competing organizations across the world, and are established antecedents to organizational need for agility, astute mechanisms as well as sophisticated systems that will guide them to leading positions in the race. Yet another environmental trend common to organizations is the deluge of data – structured and unstructured – around them. The ability to glean relevant data, analyze them and use them for strategic decision making marks the power of analytics-driven organizations. Let us look at this more closely.
In a survey study spanning across 100 countries among 3000 executives, managers and analysts in 30 different industries (partnered by MIT Sloan Management Review and IBM), some of the key findings were reported as follows – the use of big data analytics was five times more in top-performing organizations than lower performers; big data usage to guide future strategies as well as day-to-day operations were twice as likely in these organizations and decision-making in these organizations were based on rigorous analysis of data and this exceeded double the rate of lower performing organizations (Zhao & Zhao, 2016). There are many more studies that can be cited here that clearly underlines the power of data and the use of analytics in organizations. So why do we talk of this here?
Well, if the above premise were right, then the biggest singular challenge of companies would not be the lack technological resources to analyze the huge reap of data or lack of financial resources to invest in purchase of systems, But the lack of human resources that is adept at tackling data. What does this mean?
It is estimated that by 2020, the amount of digital information will grow to 40 zettabytes (a mind-boggling byte that is!). It is against such background information that institutions like World Economic Forum pitches the increasing importance of data analyst jobs across all industries (Thompson, 2016). How will organizations fill up these job positions?
There could be two ways in which organizations go about filling up the requirement for data analysis job positions – one, they could hire talent or two, they could train/ retrain existing talent. Whatever the route that orgaizations take, the learner community can be sure of one interesting detail – be ‘analytics-ready’ (author’s idea of being future-ready). More on this, later for sure!