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Libby Duane Adams

Co-Founder and Chief Advocacy Officer, Alteryx

An analytics automation company is responding to the market’s data literacy shortages by upskilling a new talent pipeline ready to deliver value to businesses from day one.

The demand to drive insights from data has accelerated in the last two decades, explains Libby Duane Adams, Co-Founder and Chief Advocacy Officer of analytics automation company, Alteryx. “Data is everywhere; and today, every department in every business is trying to figure out how to work with data,” she says. “Twenty years ago, data was thought of as a coder’s or engineer’s world. It wasn’t thought of at the scale we have today.”

Demand for data skills

This scenario presents a paradox: an urgent need for data talent to close the widening skills gap and an opportunity for anyone seeking to upscale their career. “Now is the time for people to invest in themselves, their skills and their education,” says Adams. “It’s no longer acceptable to only know how to work with a spreadsheet. These are not the appropriate data skills for today and tomorrow.”

Nowadays, 82% of all jobs in the UK list digital skills as a key requirement, yet employers struggle to fill a third of those vacancies, costing the British economy £63 billion per year in GDP. The problem is a lack of digital competency in the talent pool, warns Adams. “Unfortunately, there are not enough schools offering these skills in modern data analytics,” she says.

“It’s employees that will close the talent shortage gap with the right skills. That’s why it’s so important to work with universities, higher education institutions and career-changers.”

Accessible data analytics

In response to data skill shortages, Alteryx developed a no-cost data analytics educational programme called SparkED. The free, self-paced programme is designed to put its easy-to-use, end-to-end analytics automation platform in front of higher education students and individual learners in the workplace and on the job market.

These certified courses are for anyone, Adams insists. “Modern analytics is for people with a coding or non-coding background,” she says. “Educators have to think about data analytics the way business leaders think about it, which is code-free. That’s why we’re so adamant that both code-free and code-friendly practices must be taught.”

It’s employees that will close the talent
shortage gap with the right skills.

To meet a diverse demand, Alteryx has created different learning pathways, such as courses in predictive analytics and spatial analytics, which apply to a broad range of careers. “Those learning about data analytics are able to come into employment and be productive from day one,” says Adams.

“These efficiencies from the new hires are positively impacting businesses. From an employment perspective, it’s giving future employees a leg up because they’ve got the skills that companies are looking for.”

Upskilling to enhance business

As well as upskilling the talent pipeline, senior managers need to embed a culture of continuous learning within the current workplace. “Business leaders want to support employed individuals who may already have the business acumen in marketing, supply chain, finance and so on,” says Adams.

“These leaders are taking steps to invest in upskilling their current employees across all departments because they know they have to drive the business faster and more efficiently through data analytic automation. And they need to be able to do that now.”

The data talent shortage isn’t just a UK problem, warns Adams. Business leaders across the world are struggling to find the right talent to analyse data and apply relevant findings. Navigating the challenge requires acting now to adopt data learning right across the business, she advises.

“This is an opportunity now for leaders to transform their businesses into a data-driven company and take advantage of data assets to be able to run the business better and make truly informed decisions.”

If you’re interested in learning the analytic skills that can turbocharge your career, click here to find more information on a free 90-day trial:

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