The Big Data Race: Building Your Data Team

Finding the right talent to harness your organisation’s data could spell success for your change projects.

Today, all industries are in the data business. We’re producing more data than ever before – in fact, 90% of all the data in the world has been generated over the last two years. Organisations are sitting on mountains of data, but it’s not necessarily about what you’ve got, rather who you’ve got to use it. Thanks to the ever changing business landscape, organisations are under increasing pressure to deliver change projects and building a data team with the right skills can boost project success.
Data analytics mean big business and in order to get the edge on their competitors, organisations are now in a race to harness their data and put it to effective use. Much more than just measuring project outcomes, data plays a role in driving more effective project management throughout the project lifecycle, as well as informing strategy and direction. But data is nothing without a team to put it into practice.
Although organisations want to reap the benefits of data analytics, they often lack the existing talent to make it happen. Continual technological advancements are driving digital and data analysis trends, and creating more complex job roles throughout every industry. This rapid growth means that talented data professionals are in high demand. Organisations must develop teams that can work effectively to handle new data analysis demands, including working ethically and identifying key data points in the organisation’s operations and its customers’ digital journey. Rather than investing solely in tools, here we explore why organisations should invest in people to build a winning data team.

Align Business Goals & Big Data

With the volume of data that’s now at our fingertips, it’s easy to get lost. Organisations must clearly define what they hope to get out of their data analytics in order to bring in the right team for the job. To ensure that organisations make the most of their data, it’s imperative to understand what data the organisation needs to capture and why. Whether it’s trying to make a process more efficient, or gain user feedback about a new website, organisational goals must be closely aligned with the data analysis strategy.

Define Your Talent Need

Once an organisation has established what problems they want to tackle with data, the task is then defining what goals the data team are expected to meet: What are they responsible for delivering? What resources do they have to help them achieve this? Keep in mind that defining what the job doesn’t entail is just as important as defining what it does. To build the right team, organisations must be able to translate their problems into a specific job role. Finding the perfect match between problems and candidates’ skill sets allows organisations to clarify what a great fit for these roles looks like.

Find The Right Talent

Securing the right candidates for data roles relies not on finding candidates with the most years’ of experience but rather with key skills that can be developed over time. To strike a balance between need and cost when hiring their data teams, organisations should take a look at today’s emerging talent. If the hefty price tag that comes with decades of experience isn’t enough to make organisations cast their hiring net wider, then consider that today’s graduates bring an intuitive approach to technology and many have gained data skills during their degrees, so can easily pick up the likes of SQL and Python going forward. Bridging the skills gap is then much faster with graduates, allowing organisations to save time and money when bringing them up to speed.

Change Your Culture

Introducing a new team always has the potential to pose problems. To ensure the integration of an organisation’s data team goes smoothly, it’s important to outline how this new team fits into the wider business: Who does the new team report to? Do any existing roles need redefining? Making clear how the data team fits into the organisation at large can start a cultural shift towards data-driven decision making.

As data roles expand along with new technologies, the need for data talent is only going to grow. Whether you’re personalising customer experiences or streamlining processes, there’s plenty of operational and financial benefits for organisations to gain from harnessing their data effectively. By investing in building their data talent pipeline now, organisations place themselves on the front foot when it comes to change project success.