Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 39 - Page 76

INDUSTRY WATCH can lead to issues if these people move elsewhere .
By creating a culture where sharing data knowledge and tools is the norm , these responsibilities can be distributed across a data-literate workforce , freeing up valuable time for your data specialists to be truly innovative and drive success .
One organisation tackling this issue head-on is Marks & Spencer . In 2018 , the retailer partnered with Decoded to create the world ’ s first Data Academy in retail . The programme aims to support the business ’ Digital Transformation by building the necessary skillsets from the ground up . the ecosystem to grow should also be considered , along with partnering with regional universities . This can create a substantial footprint in the UK ’ s major cities and towns that will allow today ’ s students and tomorrow ’ s employees to develop and enhance their data skills .
By fostering these collaborations , the Data Strategy could help ensure institutions are developing the data skills needed by local employers through workplace training , upskilling , or retraining . This would boost productivity , support local job creation and make sure that the strategy ’ s benefits are felt up and down the UK and at an individual level .
2 . Future-proofing the UK ’ s workforce
But it ’ s not just about cultivating the right data skills within educational institutions . Businesses also have a role to play in future-proofing the UK ’ s workforce by equipping their workforce with the essential skillset to manage data .
They must place a renewed emphasis on building data capabilities among their existing employees at all levels . Failure to do so could see data knowledge concentrated in the hands of a few , who are then relied upon to support the entire business . This is unsustainable and
Employees can enrol in an 18-month in-work data science skills programme where they learn to adopt and apply data analytics tools and technologies such as Machine Learning .
More recently , this programme has expanded even further with the launch of a new entry-level Data Technician course that teaches employees how to manipulate , scrutinise and then translate that data into valuable insights .
3 . Improving diversity in data
But education at one stage or another is not the only key to data skills – increasing diversity will also help . While the discussion around diversity and inclusion often focuses on gender and ethnicity , there is a strong case for improving neurodiversity within organisations . For example , Asperger ’ s can be an advantage in certain jobs , particularly those involving data analytics .
But conventional recruitment practices work against those with the condition . In a world with growing skills gaps and a desire for employees with creativity and potential to innovate , it is even more critical that these policies and processes give all types of people an equal chance to succeed . p
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